Mario Kart 8 Gives Big Boost to Wii U Sales

Mario Kart 8 - Rainbow Road - Nintendo

A happy week for Nintendo.  Nintendo

In its first few days,Mario Kart 8 is already the fastest-selling Wii U game in history, moving over 1.2 million units worldwide in the first weekend, according to Nintendo.

Not all these sales have come from current Wii U owners; there has been a notable rise this week in new sales of the struggling console.

Video game tracking website VGChartz says that over 78 thousand Wii Us were sold in the United States during the week ending May 31, 2014, a 611% increase over the previous week. The retail monitor Chart-Track has found similar results in England, with a sales boost of 666%.

The increase was considerably less impressive in Japan; a post on NeoGAF reports that both Media Create and Famitsu report Wii U console sales only doubling over the prior week. Still, MK8 is the number one game this week in Japan.

The lesser success in Japan could be due to the lack of an MK8/Wii U bundle there; Chart-Track said 82% of Wii U sales in England were MK8 bundles.

When VGChartz released it’s global chart for the week, the mild improvement in Japan and the huge improvement everywhere else resulted in a 489% boost in sales worldwide over the previous week.

In spite of its strong sales, MK8 didn’t make it to the number one sales slot in the U.S. or England, being handily beaten by Watch Dogs, a game just released for every console except the Wii U, which won’t get the game until this fall.

While MK8‘s success is not in itself enough to bring Wii U sales to parity with those of its competitors, it is a solid boost for the struggling console; hopefully Nintendo can turn this momentum to its advantage with its E3-adjacent “Nintendo Digital Event” next week.


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