Mario Kart 8 Helps Drive Wii U Sales

Monday, July 7th, 2014

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Rosalina on a Motorcycle | Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 gives Nintendo a bigger sales boost than the competition.

The Wii U has had a tough time after over a year on the market, with the PS4 and Xbox One garnering strong sales and extensive third-party support in less than a year. Nintendo is hoping to turn things around with the recently released Mario Kart 8 and upcoming heavy-hitting exclusives like Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, Bayonetta 2, and Hyrule Warriors later this year. While Mario Kart 8 launched with 1.2 million units sold on its opening weekend and over 2 million in its first month, many have wondered if this has helped sell more Wii U consoles. The answer is a resounding yes!

According to sales information gathered from VGChartz, the Wii U was selling about 29,000 units a week before the release of Mario Kart 8. In the first week of the kart racer’s release, the Wii U sold 133,353 units. The Wii U continued steady with 91,817 units the following week and 68,608 units the week after that for a total sales boost of 206,517 units. What’s even more interesting is how this matches up with console sales in March with Xbox One exclusive Titanfall and PlayStation 4 exclusive inFAMOUS: Second Son. In a three-week period, Titanfall was able to sell about 94,000 additional Xbox One systems on top of its average of 79,000, while Second Son managed to move an additional 106,000 PS4 consoles on top of its average of 150,000.

All told, this puts the total PS4 units sold at 8.4 million, the Wii U at 6.4 million, and the Xbox One at 4.6 million, according to VGChartz. This bodes really well for Nintendo’s first HD console. Not only was Mario Kart 8 able to boost Wii U system sales, the effect was more than just a blip on the radar. With several games on the horizon this fall and holiday season, as well as the upcoming Amiibo toys-to-life line, the Wii U is in a great position for a comeback. While it’s not out of the woods yet, things are finally looking up for the House of Mario.


About Andrew Mathieu

My name is Andrew Mathieu. I'm a college student and I work part-time in my home state of Connecticut. I'm working towards being a writing and host three blogs on WordPress about animation, comic books, and video games. I hope to one day be able to write comic books and voice my opinions about my favorite fields of entertainment.

  • Joshua J. Slone

    Oh man, Chartzzzzz.

  • Adibobea9

    I appreciate the positive article for the Wii U and Mario Kart, but let’s not kid ourselves that the Xbox One is doing much better sales…

    • Do you have a source for this? I wouldn’t be surprised, and VGChartz is not super accurate, but there’s no reason to assume that the One has hugely outsold the Wii U.

  • multibottler0cket

    Once Smash Bros. and Zelda come out, the Wii U will have some solid sales and they should pick up in general from there on. Mario Kart definitely helped to get the ball rolling, but SSB and Zelda will keep it rolling.

    Of course, I’m mostly looking forward to SMTxFE and X! (and the eventual Fire Emblem).

    • madmofo145

      We’ll have to see what the holiday looks like. Smash will certainly be a system seller, but winter is still a bit thinner then I’d like for Nintendo, and by the time Xenoblade or Zelda come out the other consoles will certainly have a better lineup then they do now. Hopefully Hyrule Warriors is good, and Bayonetta actually pushes some consoles, as this is Nintendo’s best chance to strike.

    • multibottler0cket

      Yeah, I agree, but there’s just something about a new Samsh Bros. or Zelda that people are drawn to. Either childhood nostalgia for the series or how these games stand out versus the norms presented by the mainstream market seen on the competitor’s systems, but if the games are/look good enough some serious momentum will be generated.

      Also, the thing about a system seller is that it opens the doors to new customers to all the older games that they may have been interested in, but not enough to buy the system, so that should keep them busy in the mean time.

  • XypherCode

    As much as I’m glad that the Wii U is doing fine at the moment, VGChartz isn’t really the most great or accurate source of sales data out there.

  • Anon

    VGChartz? Really?

  • “the effect was more than just a blip on the radar”

    Seems to be over now. Wii U sales are just like old gen console again. About 50,000 units this week, just like PS3. The MK8 effect lasted 4 weeks. Now let’s wish that sales of somme underated Wii U games will grow (hello to you, The Wonderful 101! 😉 ).