The lights are on
This morning, Nintendo launched a Direct presentation showcasing lots of gameplay and details for the upcoming Mario Kart 8.
1. Baby Rosalina and Pink Gold Peach join the cast of 30 racers
Rosalina is a relatively new addition to Mario's roster of characters, but she's already got a good handle on her role in the universe. She will be appearing in the game in her adult form, but she knows that every self-respecting member of Mario's world was at one time a baby and she will be appearing as such.
Pink Gold Peach also joins the roster as the second metal character next to Mario. She is a heavy racer, able to push other characters off course.
2. New item lets you carry eight at once and blow away competitors with a loudspeaker
The new speaker contraption lets you set off a sound wave around your kart knocking out racers, but the most exciting implication from the speaker? You can use it to prevent blue shells from taking you out.
Another item we had not seen before lets you carry and use eight items at once.
3. Kart customization
Nintendo showed off some of the new kart customizations, including one that attaches animatronic horses to the front of your kart.
You will be able to change out your body, wheels, and hang-glider for an assortment of racing options.
4. Nintendo proves bikes aren't universally faster than karts
Karts have the best straightaway capabilities, but bikes are better at tight turns. What this means for best lap time chasers is that bikes are not always the best choice for setting the best lap times. As the image above states, it all depends on the course.
5. Online gets an overhaul
Nintendo has always been cautious about letting players interact online, fearing the worst regarding the appearance of inappropriate content or language. For Mario Kart 8, it looks like Nintendo is relaxing a bit by offering chat in the lobby. Up to 12 players can race together online, with the option to set up tournaments and adjust the rules to your pleasing.
6. Mario Kart TV gets in on YouTube's popular Let's Play phenomenon
Along with the ability to watch your best races, and allow others to see your best times online, you will also be able to upload your race replays to YouTube.
Bonus: 7. A cliffhanger for the next Nintendo Direct?
Is Nintendo injecting a narrative thread into its Nintendo Direct presentations? Who is this person? Is it Reggie Fils-Aime? Why are all of their life goals Nintendo-related? I can't wait to find out more in the next episode.
To see the full Mario Kart 8 Nintendo Direct for yourself, head here. For more on Mario Kart 8, check out our hands-on preview here. Mario Kart arrives on Wii U on May 30.
Email the author Kyle Hilliard, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
This makes me want to get a Wii U.
Okay, these screenshots are pretty amazing by any standard.
I am really looking forward to this. This game looks so good. I can't wait to race on this year's Rainbow Road, it's always been my favorite course. Really happy I will get to race with Rosalina as well. :D
Baby Rosalina but no Dry Bones?!
At last, WiiU is gonna finally be getting a heavy hitter exclusive!!!
I know Diddy Kong is in the new karts, he's on a picture ridding on a bike. If anybody deserves a baby character its yoshi.