UK Retailer: Mario Kart 8 Last Chance for WiiU

Trago

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Can we please stop relying on one game to "save" a platform? We don't look back on great consoles for that "one" game that saved it.

Mario Kart 8 will be a great addition to the Wii U's library, so let's keep it at that and hope Smash gets a release date by then.
 

H_Prestige

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Aug 2, 2008
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So are you then saying that system sellers are only games that are innovative and different?
It's got to be something new that people don't have already.

34 million people have MK Wii. That's great. Why should those people bust out $300 just to play a slightly shinier version instead of just dusting off their Wii? It's the same reason 30 million people didn't "upgrade" to NSMBU.

It's blowing my mind that I actually have to explain this when NSMBU already happened. Are you guys not paying attention?

You basically argue that 3D World isn't innovative or new and that's the reason why it didn't sell.

If this was the rule in this industry, COD, FIFA, Madden and the rest would be dead long ago, there are more important reasons for 3D Worlds performance (the biggest one being Wii Us hardware base), therefore Mario Kart 8s projected performance. Regarding it's impact on the hardware sales, as I already said, Mario Kart 8 won't "turn around" things on itself (if anything).
You've got this backwards. If people wanted to play 3D World, if the game were actually compelling outside of a small internet fanbase, then people would buy the hardware. The simple explanation is that the game just doesn't offer much new experiences. You can already get 4 player platforming mayhem in NSMBU, which in turn was already available in NSMBWii, a game which 1/3 of the Wii user base already bought and played.

COD? This is emergent online competitive gameplay. You can pretend that all these games offer the same exact experience, but they don't. If you think every COD game, every COD match is the same, then I guess every single Melee game played out the same right?

Sports games? Come on man. Should people still be playing with 15 year old graphics and team rosters? There is a compelling reason to buy a new sports title every year. What's the reason to buy NSMBU when you have it on Wii? HD backgrounds? What is MK8 offering that you just can't get with MKWii?
 

Currygan

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Jul 7, 2012
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It's got to be something new that people don't have already.

34 million people have MK Wii. That's great. Why should those people bust out $300 just to play a slightly shinier version instead of just dusting off their Wii? It's the same reason 30 million people didn't "upgrade" to NSMBU.

It's blowing my mind that I actually have to explain this when NSMBU already happened. Are you guys not paying attention?

by your logic, every game in a serie is just a shinier version of the one that preceded it. Which is totally wrong and if anything MK8 is looking drastically different from MKWii already
 

Dark_castle

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Jun 25, 2013
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I think it won't sell like shit, it should have legs and over time sell decently.

I'm not saying it will save The Wii U either, no one game can fix this mess.
Relatively. Of course I strongly doubt it would do worse than an average Wii U title, but compared to Mario Kart Wii? Yeah.

Really, the only reason Mario Kart Wii was such a huge success because Nintendo hit a gold mine concept with motion control for Wii. Being able to use an actual, friendly designed wheel and play with your friends on a couch was fairly new at the time, and it's perfect for casual and families.

The two target audience had moved on now. I don't see them coming back to Nintendo just for another Mario Kart that essentially only provide prettier graphics and new stages.
 

Jaded Alyx

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It's got to be something new that people don't have already.

34 million people have MK Wii. That's great. Why should those people bust out $300 just to play a slightly shinier version instead of just dusting off their Wii? It's the same reason 30 million people didn't "upgrade" to NSMBU.
It's not that simple. Why was MKWii a system seller then? (it caused the Wii to jump to over 700,000 units in it's launch month in the US, an unprecedented figure for a console in a non-launch, non-holiday month. Also GTAIV launch month, incidentally) What was so different about it, a plastic wheel attachment?
 

Piers

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Jun 26, 2012
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Frankly the Wii U has no chance.
My thoughts too. No amount of quality Nintendo titles is going to hook the boat back - UK has an affinity towards Sony, and now the Xbox. 'Simple and fun' titles can just gotten on the iPad/Phone. Everyone wants bigger and better, not neat and different.

It's still great how I've seen the average bloke wince up and mention kiddy in regards to having a crack at the Wii U. UK is returning to its roots.
 

H_Prestige

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It's not that simple. Why was MKWii a system seller then? (it caused the Wii to jump to over 700,000 units in it's launch month in the US, an unprecedented figure for a console in a non-launch, non-holiday month. Also GTAIV launch month, incidentally) What was so different about it, a plastic wheel attachment?
It actually is that simple.



Wii audience loved this kind of stuff. The game wouldn't have sold what it if it had regular controls.

Anyway, I'm done with this discussion. Always a waste of time.
 

Oriel

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The WiiU is a dying console. Time for Iwata to take it into the shed with a shotgun and put it out of its misery.
 

Starwolf_UK

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It's not that simple. Why was MKWii a system seller then? (it caused the Wii to jump to over 700,000 units in it's launch month in the US, an unprecedented figure for a console in a non-launch, non-holiday month.
I got my Wii shortly after MKWii came out (just before WiiWare launched...to think that was a reason for buying the Wii, having a 2001 PC made me not notice the PC indie movement, though I guess world of goo made it boom) and the shortages felt like they had just come to an end.

So maybe it was a case that Wii could have moved those units but the production was not yet at the level to do so.
 

Regiruler

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If there isn't a Wii Wheel bundled with it I am going to be surprised.

Anyways, I think going for numbers, in hindsight, was a good idea. While it may be boring to us, it's less confusing to the average consumer and quite frankly they don't care.
 

Effect

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Jun 15, 2007
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Just reference the chalkboard.
The thing about that chalkboard is that the only items that really should have been on it where Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart, Zelda Wii U, and Smash Bros. They were and are the only games that were even capable of moving the needle as they say. A lot of the other stuff was just silly.

How well Mario Kart 8 does will be interesting to see. If they don't go all out on advertising for it, presenting it as a reason to own a Wii U, I don't see it doing much of anything. It has to be a showpiece and make the case for the system not the gamepad but the system.
 

Chezzymann

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I can understand why it didn't appeal to the public tbh. The Galaxy games weren't big with them either. 2D perspective Mario was the one. Mario Kart was even more significant, in fact the most significant after Wii Sports IIRC.
What? sure, the "New" mario games sold over 25 million, but the galaxy games were still big. Super Mario Galaxy sold 10 million copies.
 

ghst

thanks for the laugh
May 9, 2006
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It won't be the last year, but don't expect anything but Nintendo games. Even when the writing was on the wall about the Dreamcast being doomed, we still got some fantastic games. It will be the case here, just accept it will be gone before it's time more than likely.
its time was 2010.
 

klier

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MK8 will simply be another "gem" for us, Nintendo fans.
No turnaround for WiiU will come with it. I will just enjoy this stream of nice WiiU games and wish the next Nintendo console will do better.
This!

And WiiU 1st party titles will probably be released on the next console as well...
 

Minions

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Having gotten a Wii-U recently for Christmas, I don't think they should count out Zelda. This was the main reason, along with X that I wanted the console. The main complaint I have with Nintendo however is they never lower the price of their first party titles.... and some are not worth the MSRP.
 

Jaded Alyx

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If there isn't a Wii Wheel bundled with it I am going to be surprised.

Anyways, I think going for numbers, in hindsight, was a good idea. While it may be boring to us, it's less confusing to the average consumer and quite frankly they don't care.
I doubt there will be. They'd want to focus on how you can use the Gamepad as a wheel.

What are the odds MK8 sees a release date in the first half of this year?
Extremely high? It has always been 'Spring 2014'.
 

michaelius

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Mario Kart WAS Wii U last chance - if they released it together with 3D world before Christmas 2013 and coupled with much bigger price cut than they did.

In 2014 it's too little to late.
 

Calamari41

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I'm as big a Wii U fan as anybody, but the reality of the situation is that the system has only one shot at healthy sales figures going forward. It's not Smash, it's not Mario Kart, and it's not anything that we could point to right now. The only chance the Wii U has is if Nintendo discovers or creates the next Skylanders or Minecraft and secures it exclusively.

That's their only shot. Since the chances of Nintendo accomplishing this are so low, the best they can do is ride out the Wii U and try again next time.
 
Jul 21, 2004
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Mario Kart WAS Wii U last chance - if they released it together with 3D world before Christmas 2013 and coupled with much bigger price cut than they did.

In 2014 it's too little to late.
I doubt that would have caused much more than the ripple Mario 3D did on it's own. Xmas was about the 2 new systems. Mario Kart and Mario 3D may have made the WiiU slightly more desirable but in the end it would have done little to it's overall performance. It would have also meant that the WiiU would have lost all the momentum in one go and left 2014 looking even worse than it does now.

I think it's too late for the system to truly turn itself around after 1 year of zero hype and momentum. It has a failed stigma surrounding it with no excitement. It's not getting any wealth of games any time soon. Even if 3rd parties pubs suddenly wanted to release games on the system, they aren't going to come any time soon or would be full price port jobbies that wouldn't sell anyways. The Wii audience is gone. It's left to Nintendo fans and soaking up some other core gamers for stuff like X or Bayo2 as the people to sell it to and that's a limited audience (see Gamecube). Unless Nintendo can come out and really push some amazing idea for the GamePad that catches fire, then it's simply going to just plod along at the snails pace it is now. They could try and slash the price/rebrand it/new marketing push... but what will that really achieve with it's rather limited games library that hasn't already attracted the core to begin with. If you have a PS3/4/360/XBone than that's where you'll be buying your muliplats and online focused games. It's going to fall down to exclusives. And while the WiiU has some nice exclusives now and in the future; is it enough for the masses to want to buy another system just so they can play just those titles? I don't think it is.

Nintendo is stuck with a system this gen that is going nowhere fast and they are just going to have to ride it out the best they can, hoping they can achieve some decent profit in the end. But consumer, developers/publishers and retailer confidence in it is dangerously low. There's no quick easy fix for it all.
 

Neff

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Brick and mortar chains issuing ultimatums while their business bleeds toward online retailers is quite something.

How big was the GCN bump when Double Dash dropped? That's probably what we're looking at here.
What with it being online and, y'know, probably not shit like Double Dash was, it should be a much better result.
 

Apophis2036

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They need to price cut WiiU to the launch price of the original Wii for MK8 to have any effect. A $249/£179 32GB WiiU with NSMB U & MK8 as digital downloads would do really well if marketed right.
 

Shiggy

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What with it being online and, y'know, probably not shit like Double Dash was, it should be a much better result.
Double Dash was not shit.

While Mario Kart might be more popular now, it's just more of the same, whereas DD was vastly different compared to DD (both in gameplay, features, and visuals). MK8 is just more of the same; as with their other Wii U titles I don't think it will be nearly as popular as MK Wii. Franchise fatigue has become a thing with their safe sequels.


Their last chance is bundling this with the Wii U and selling it for €150. Even at €200 it won't make a real change.
 

Wolfgang Jr

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Apr 21, 2011
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The Wii U needs something new and exciting, not Mario Kart Eight.
It will be renamed before release:

Mario Kart (console sales) U-Turn!

Double Dash was not shit.

While Mario Kart might be more popular now, it's just more of the same, whereas DD was vastly different compared to DD (both in gameplay, features, and visuals). MK8 is just more of the same; as with their other Wii U titles I don't think it will be nearly as popular as MK Wii. Franchise fatigue has become a thing with their safe sequels.
DD was vastly different to the other Mario Kart's by being the SHITTEST Mario Kart.
 

Shiggy

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DD was vastly different to the other Mario Kart's by being the SHITTEST Mario Kart.
It was their first step into creating the "modern" Mario Kart. All MK games that followed played (e.g. physics) and looked similar. MK64 and SMK differed quite a lot both in gameplay and items.
 

Outtrigger888

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Apr 23, 2008
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I feel so sorry for Platinum Games.
They get paid, either way. Kamiya would of never got to make a game he seems very passionate about, w101.

Bayo2 probably would of never seen the light of day. So im happy for PG.

I feel sorry for anyone who misses these two games.

Also, some quotes...


The games boss of one of the UK’s biggest retailers told MCV:
“A sub-£200 machine will help, and Mario Kart is desperately needed to reach the fans. We also need something revolutionary that makes use of the second screen and has mainstream appeal, which is easier said than done.”
Another statement comes from the top buyer at one online games store:
“There is only one real last chance for Wii U and it is Mario Kart 8. It could still be the game that sparks interest in Wii U, but it would need to be combined with a more mass market retail price.”
And a third comment from a games executive at a mass market outlet:
“£199 and Mario Kart 8. Simple.”
Lastly, Xbite boss Steve Thomas added:
“Nintendo will have something up its sleeves that again will add a new dimension to gaming.”
 

KennyLinder

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Price cuts might help but anyone who thinks about it for a minute knows that the pricing isn't the issue. Some examples (UK):

- Apple products sell well here
- Xbox One is doing great
- House prices and sales are up
- New car sales are at a record high including companies like BMW and Audi (leased or otherwise)

My point is people in the UK are happy to spend money - lots in some cases - and that perhaps cost is a factor as a Wii U would be a secondary console for many, but ultimately nobody is interested in a Nintendo home system. They just aren't.

Wii was a 100m fad which will probably never be repeated.
 

wind_steaker

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I'm as big a Wii U fan as anybody, but the reality of the situation is that the system has only one shot at healthy sales figures going forward. It's not Smash, it's not Mario Kart, and it's not anything that we could point to right now. The only chance the Wii U has is if Nintendo discovers or creates the next Skylanders or Minecraft and secures it exclusively.

That's their only shot. Since the chances of Nintendo accomplishing this are so low, the best they can do is ride out the Wii U and try again next time.
So accepting that the console is never going to do amazing numbers, could it still be worthwhile for Nintendo to continue development? Assuming they get decent (comparatively) sales of their key games, is that enough for them to more or less break even for the generation? If so they could just continue and see their game development as investment in future HD collections for whatever comes next. If the next console does better numbers then games like Zelda might get sales they deserve then, while giving Nintendo enough reason to not abandon the Wii u.
 

PVR

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At $299 nothing is going to save the Wii U. For $149 - $199 it can do well as a second console.
 

Neff

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It was their first step into creating the "modern" Mario Kart. All MK games that followed played (e.g. physics) and looked similar. MK64 and SMK differed quite a lot both in gameplay and items.
I'm not sure about that. The DS game was as significant a re-invention as any of them (and is the best imo), and the Wii game again changed its feel quite a bit.

7 went back to MKDS' style, sans snaking, but we'll have to see what 8 does differently, besides the obvious gravity gimmick.

I'm not saying it will save The Wii U either, no one game can fix this mess.
No one game can save it by itself, but one game can certainly tip the console's purchase incentive past the point of "oh well, it has this other stuff I want to play on it besides this game, so why not?"
 

TruckDriver

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Sep 21, 2012
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I cannot wait for the consumer reviews for Mario Kart 8.

"This game is not working on my Wii. I bought this for my son and the game doesn't register. We have perfectly working controllers here and I don't think I need the WiiU controller to play this, but it seems that it requires the controller. DO NOT BUY UNLESS YOU HAVE WIIU CONTROLLER. I will return this to amazon ASAP."
And who's fault is that? The parents? Heck no, that's Nintendo's fault.

A lack of advertising has led to confusion on the consumer side. That's Nintendo's problem, which they have yet to solve.
 

DragonSworne

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It's not that simple. Why was MKWii a system seller then? (it caused the Wii to jump to over 700,000 units in it's launch month in the US, an unprecedented figure for a console in a non-launch, non-holiday month. Also GTAIV launch month, incidentally) What was so different about it, a plastic wheel attachment?
Millions of Wii owners nostaglic over Mario Kart. That nostaglia won't help Wii U as Nintendo has been abusing the Mario Kart franchise.
 

Screamapillar

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Mario Kart only became a really big thing with DS.

Thing is it also seems to be a game that people will buy if they have the system but not necessarily buy the system for. People bough MKDS and Wii but they already had the system.

A better reference would be MK7 that was actually outsold by 3DLand.
I don't agree. Mario Kart 64 is ubiquitous for "Mario Kart" nowadays with people in my age group. We're talking 22-28ish. People keep their N64 around from when they got it in 5th or 6th grade, and they have their drinking buddies over to play. Can't tell you how many people come into the party store I work at within walking distance from the local university and talking about playing Mario Kart.

Millions of Wii owners nostaglic over Mario Kart. That nostaglia won't help Wii U as Nintendo has been abusing the Mario Kart franchise.
Huh? Nintendo makes one Mario Kart per system. Same as they've always done. What are you talking about?
 
Sep 2, 2011
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Brick and mortar chains issuing ultimatums while their business bleeds toward online retailers is quite something.
The article and OP you never bothered to read properly said:
The top buyer at one online games store added: “There is only one real last chance for Wii U and it is Mario Kart 8. It could still be the game that sparks interest in Wii U, but it would need to be combined with a more mass market retail price.”
But please, continue...
 

Cwarrior

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It's already to Late for Wiiu in the UK once retailers stop stocking your system it's game over, Nothing can save your system at that point.
 

AngryMoth

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Of all the items on the chalkboard Mario Kart is the only one which I ever thought actually had a chance to 'save' the Wii U due it's insane popularity on the Wii and DS. It is ridiculous that it has taken them so long to get it out though. They should have moved heaven and earth to get it out in november, even if it meant delaying 3D world. I'm not sure what kind of impact it will have now, feels like it might be too late and the systems price is still too high.
 

Neff

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While Wii U's still relatively limp, the discrepancy between what's selling online and what's selling in stores is significant. If those comments are coming from stores (and I'm positive they are), they at least represent the tough situation they face. From an online retailer, "last chance" simply sounds alarmist, sensationalist, or a poor reflection of their own business.
 

thepotatoman

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It actually is that simple.



Wii audience loved this kind of stuff. The game wouldn't have sold what it if it had regular controls.

Anyway, I'm done with this discussion. Always a waste of time.
Really it's that. It was an actual realistic, easy to understand, and functional motion control scheme and it released at the perfect time while people were still hungry for motion controls but were getting tired of Wii Sports.

I think Mario Kart DS felt like a huge leap as well representing a leap from the terrible SNES style graphics and physics of the GBA all the way to something that you could almost see being on the Gamecube, but on a portable system.

The only thing to make Mario Kart 8 really stand out is that the tracks sometimes go sideways or upside-down, which is certainly not something that will get the average person super excited.

Wii U's last chance was Super Mario 3D World. I guess that pretty much set up the thing.
3D World was never going to save the Wii U, but Nintendo really really really needed it to at least set the wii u up into a slightly better position so that Mario Kart can have something to build off of. Now it seems Mario Kart basically needs to work with launching the system off the very same ground floor the system was at this time last year, and to hold those sales until whenever Smash comes out.
 

onipex

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I think that was the point of the original post. Nintendo successfully exploited an untapped market with the Wii, but that market didn't turn into a long-term audience. Casual motion control gaming ultimately proved to be a fad that was wildly popular for a time, but no longer. The imitators (Kinect, PS Move) didn't have great success either.
I know what that post was saying. What I'm saying is that the Wii U wasn't following that same blue ocean strategy. Its almost the complete opposite of what the Wii was aiming for.

I don't know if Nintendo would have fared any better if all they did was make a better Wiimote and a new HD console. Capturing a new audience is a very risky move, because holding on to them is difficult. So yeah its hard to pull off long term success.