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Developer Direct: Mario Kart 8


“I think the real secret of Mario kart is that it’s a multiplayer communication tool. It’s great seeing many people having fun communicating and competing with each other. We want to make Mario kart 8 into a game where that experience is enhanced so people around the world can play together and have even more fun” — A Translation of Hideki Konno

Mario Kart 8, the newest in Nintendo’s hit Mario Kart series, was announced earlier this morning during the E3 2013 Nintendo Direct, and, as with several other games, Nintendo has posted an interview with one of its developers to their official site for Nintendo’s E3 2013. Within the interview are a number of interesting details regarding new game play features, online capabilities, and the inspirations behind the new additions.

The first thing he speaks about is the new anti-gravity feature of Mario Kart 8, explaining how the development team wanted to add a function that had never been used before in the series and anti-gravity was what they chose. With this new ability, your kart’s wheels will fold to face horizontally and you’ll be able to drive along walls and ceilings.

Next, Konno explains the inspirations behind the simple title of Mario Kart 8. He says they came from a track they’ve made in the form of a mobius strip. For those unaware, Wikipedia defines a mobius strip as “a surface with only one side and only one boundary component,” and it says they can be made easily by “taking a paper strip and giving it a half-twist, and then joining the ends of the strip together to form a loop.” The strip in Mario Kart 8 ended up forming an “8” when looked at from a bird’s-eye-view, so the development team, taking into consideration that the last game was entitled Mario Kart 7, decided to name the Wii U’s Mario Kart as Mario Kart 8.

Konno then goes on to talk about the online and Miiverse functionalities that have been added to Mario Kart 8. He says the game’s Miiverse features will allow you to host tournaments, set rules for your game, and play with your friends and fellow Miiverse community members. Konno mentions that 12 karts can be present in any given match, whether online or off, and that when a match is over Mario Kart 8can automatically create a 30 second highlight reel, featuring key points during the match. I think you’re going to love this.” Miiverse will also give you the ability to share replays with other players in a place they are calling “Mario Kart TV,” which he describes as being like a TV channel for Mario Kart replay data.

Konno continues onto the subject of controllers, saying “basically, the game will support all controllers” as Mario Kart Wii did on Wii. The list of supported input devices includes: the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combo, the Wii Wheel — which of course means you can also use a solo Wii Remote, and the Wii U Gamepad. Oddly, he made no mention of the Wii U Pro Controller, so I can’t confirm that Mario Kart 8 supports it.

On the topic of Mario Kart’s first game to ever have HD graphics, Konno highlights how well the world is brought to life with the game’s new graphics. He also confirms that Mario Kart 8 will run in 60 frames per second, even in the game’s two-player mode.

Konno closes the video by expressing his hopes for Mario Kart 8 to be the definitive version of Mario Kart, with tons of nice features to make it the best the series has to offer in all respects. He wants it to be “A Mario Kart that literally everyone can enjoy.

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