Nintendo dropped a ton of Mario Kart 8 information on us this morning. That all came by way of a surprise Nintendo Direct Presentation for the title, and a follow-up press release.

They detailed a whole lot of interesting stuff in the presentation and showing. We decided to grab a few of the more surprising tidbits that you might not have caught or perhaps didn’t see simply because the presentation was a whopping 36 minutes long.

Hey, we don’t blame you, it was early. I was pouring coffee down my own throat as I watched it this morning, and I think I missed more than a quarter of it while rubbing sleep out of my eyes.

These are the three most surprising and exciting bits of news from today’s Nintendo showing.

You Can Counter The Blue Shell

Generally speaking, the Blue Shell is one of the more controversial staple items in the Mario Kart universe.

More obnoxious than the Lightning Bolt, the Blue Shell is an instant and fast homing missile that heads straight for the first place player once fired. Upon impact, it boasts a large area of effect and knocks out any racers in the vicinity.

It was unblockable. That’s changed.

Nintendo announced today that players will be able to make use of the new Super Horn power-up to blow away Blue Shells set to explode. If they balance it so that top racers get the defensive and offensive item (it knocks nearby players out, too), this could be a game changer.

Upload Gameplay Directly To YouTube

Mario Kart 8 features Mario Kart TV, a center for watching and replaying moments captured within the Mario Kart 8 world. It’s a nice social feature, and one that we hope to take advantage of at launch.

You can record gameplay clips in Mario Kart 8. You can put them on Mario Kart TV, of course. Nintendo also announced today that you’ll be able to upload these clips directly to YouTube.

They didn’t share any stats like upload length and resolution standards, but let’s hope for long videos that check in at 720p. We’ll keep you posted on that front.

Sure, other companies are already doing this, but it’s nice to see Nintendo dip its toes into the social waters. The company has been slow to react on this front so far, so hopefully they’ll bring this feature to other games down the line. Think of it in Smash, folks.

Get A Free Game When You Buy Mario Kart 8

Who doesn’t like free games? If you buy and register Mario Kart 8 with Club Nintendo before July 31, you’ll get a free game for the Wii U. It will come in digital form.

Which games? They’re different depending on your region of the world.

North America will choose from the following: New Super Mario Bros. UPikmin 3The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD or Wii Party U.

Europe will have a wider selection. NintendoLandNew Super Mario Bros. UGame & WarioPikmin 3The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HDWii Party UMonster Hunter 3Sonic Lost WorldThe Wonderful 101, and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Why more for Europe? The Wii U is doing worse there, folks. No doubt about that.

If it were my free game, I’d be leaning towards Pikmin 3 or Wind Waker HD. For Europe, add The Wonderful 101 to that list, especially if you like tough games.


What are you most excited about for Mario Kart 8? The game will release on May 30th. We’ll have more as it comes.