Mario Kart 8 is the biggest release for Wii U yet. While we don’t know what Nintendo is announcing at E3 or what they plan on doing for the rest of the year, we do know that a lot of hope is resting on the shoulders of Mario Kart 8. During the annual financial call to investors, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata estimated around 3.6 million Wii U units to be sold for the 2014 financial year. That’s down from the first estimate of 10 million the previous year, with heavy hitting titles like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. launching this year.
Polygon recently took a look at hardware sales relative to the time a Mario Kart game was released on its respective platform to see how well Mario Kart games have sold overall. Looking at the graph, an average of 20% of owners of a system seem to buy Mario Kart, meaning of the 6.27 million owners of the Wii U right now, Nintendo can expect to see around 1.26m in sales of Mario Kart 8 for current hardware owners. That’s much less than the previous worst selling Mario Kart game, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, which launched on the Game Boy Advance in 2001.
Of course, this doesn’t take into consideration the number of people who currently don’t own a Wii U but will purchase one exclusively to play Mario Kart 8. Just looking at these numbers though, it will be interesting to see how Mario Kart 8 performs once it is finally available on May 30.
Be sure and check out our Mario Kart 8 review if you’re still on the fence about getting the game.