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Surprise Mario Kart 8 Nintendo Direct reveals awesome free game promotion

Jonathan Lester
Nintendo, Wii U

An offer you can't Wii Use?

Nintendo sprung a Mario Kart 8 presentation on us today with the barest minimum of warning, showing off loads of gameplay footage, revealing new characters and generally making us very excited for the long-overdue kart racer. However, they've also dropped a massive bombshell in a free game promotion that will let you claim a major first party title gratis if you buy Mario Kart 8 at retail, in a bundle or from the Wii U eShop.

Participating downloadable games include Pikmin 3, Wind Waker HD, The Wonderful 101 and more. Oh yes. Nintendo means serious business and are ready to compete.

Surprise Mario Kart 8 Nintendo Direct reveals awesome free game promotion

First up: the presentation. Beyond a good look at the tracks, anti-gravity mechanics and powerups we can expect -- including the ludicrous 'Super 8' item that basically gives us every weapon at once -- it also confirms that Baby Rosalina and Pink Gold Peach will make an appearance as new characters. No Bowser Junior though. If you're looking for new info, it's definitely worth a watch.

It's clear that Mario Kart 8 is going to make a play for becoming a Wii U killer app and will try to encourage more gamers to purchase the system as part of a premium bundle. However, in what can only be described as a shockingly awesome twist, you'll actually get two games for the price of one. If you buy Mario Kart 8 (retail, eShop or included in the premium bundle) and register its PIN code with your Club Nintendo account (you do have one of those, right?) before the end of July, you'll be able to choose from a selection of free download games including essential first-party offerings and some of the best second-party games the system has to offer.

Of course, I daresay you noticed the "see terms and conditions for full details" disclaimer - so I've included them below via Nintendo.co.uk.

New buyers will get an extra game to get stuck into, while existing fans will double their money - meaning that the oft-overlooked Wii U might become too tempting to ignore if you're sitting on the fence. It's great to see Nintendo getting stuck in, and pro-actively trying to compete by offering us more for our money and highlighting the Wii U's major selling point: its awesome games.

What do you make of it? Are you more likely to buy a Wii U? Can't wait for Mario Kart 8 regardless of the promotion? Let us know in the comments!

Terms and Conditions

  1. To participate in the promotion, you have to be a resident of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, South Africa, or Russia.
  2. You must have registered the Club Nintendo PIN code for the game Mario Kart 8 for Wii U in Club Nintendo at www.club-nintendo.com between May 30th 2014, 10:00 (UK time) and July 31st 2014, 23:59 (UK time).You can find the Club Nintendo PIN code:
    • Inside the packaging of Mario Kart 8 software (including software which is part of the Mario Kart 8 Premium Pack – Special Edition Wii U hardware bundle);
    • On-screen on Wii U:
      • After purchasing the downloadable version of Mario Kart 8 from Nintendo eShop, or;
      • After the redemption of a download code for the downloadable version of Mario Kart 8.
      • Also in the receipt within “Menu”, then “Account Activity” in Nintendo eShop on the Wii U console, after downloading software from Nintendo eShop.
  3. After you have registered the Club Nintendo PIN Code in your Club Nintendo account, log in to Club Nintendo 48 hours later and click the Mario Kart 8 Bonus Game Promotion banner to proceed. You will be given an opportunity to request a free download code for one of the eligible games for Wii U. The eligible games are:
    • Nintendo Land
    • New Super Mario Bros. U
    • Game & Wario
    • Pikmin 3
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
    • Sonic Lost World (Wii U version)
    • Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
    • Wii Party U
    • The Wonderful 101 (PEGI 12)*
    • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U version; PEGI 12)*

    *Members of Club Nintendo who are below the age of 12 will not be able to request a download code for games rated 12 and above.

  4. The request of a download code must be completed by August 31st 2014, 23:59 (UK time). The download code will be sent to you via email to the email address registered in your Club Nintendo account within 48 hours. The download code will also be available after login in the “My Account” section of the Club Nintendo website, 48 hours after completing the request for a download code.The download code can be used to download the chosen game from Nintendo eShop to any Wii U console*. The download code expires on September 30th 2014, 22:59 (UK time).


Add a comment7 comments
ChrisHyde  Apr. 30, 2014 at 15:23


I am really psyched for this! Well done Nintendo! Very good move! Hopefully see some more people take up this awesome offer.

I certainly will be.

Late  Apr. 30, 2014 at 15:27

Not bad. Not bad at all, Nintendo.

Means you could get the console with Mario Kart and Windwaker (or whichever of the above list most takes your fancy) for a shade under two hundred quid (hukd link to tesco deal) - which is a pretty tempting proposition tbh.

JonLester  Apr. 30, 2014 at 15:50

@Chris: Oh yes. Not only is this great value for money (whoo, free Wind Waker for me!) but Nintendo are finally stepping up and selling the Wii U on its two major strengths: price, but much more importantly awesome games.

The Wii U has great games you can't get anywhere else. And you can get a free one. And it'll cost you less to buy the system. That's a great message! Here's hoping for a knockout E3 performance (or in my fever dreams, a 5 hour livestreamed demonstration of X ). EDIT: fun fact, "X )" becomes "X)" without a space!

Anyway, this ain't before time - nice to see them being proactive and ready to compete.

@Late: Right? That's a corker of a deal.

Last edited by JonLester, Apr. 30, 2014 at 15:56
ChrisHyde  Apr. 30, 2014 at 16:01

@Jon Lol at the fun fact.

I don't like to get overhyped for Ninty at E3s these days. But this announcement, maybe, just maybe shows that they are starting to get it.

Crazy Jamie  Apr. 30, 2014 at 17:12

Exceptional move. I already have the console and thought I could hold off on Mario Kart. But with this announcement the prospect of picking up Mario Kart and then getting another top game for free may well be too tempting to resist. Besides, it's been ages since I bought a game close to launch for full(ish) price, so this seems as good an excuse as any to make an exception.

Yukes  Apr. 30, 2014 at 17:47

HUGE! Let's just hope that Nintendo actually advertise this cracker. TV adverts, billboards, shouting from the rooftops, Mario Kart-themed samurai messengers....something!

Last edited by Yukes, Apr. 30, 2014 at 17:55
JonLester  Apr. 30, 2014 at 21:19

@ChrisHyde: I'd be interested to know what you made of the announcement that they'll be holding another digital E3 showing.

@Crazy Jamie: I know, right? You'd better believe that we'll be searching for some MK8 deals over these next few weeks. Frankly, I'm amazed (in a good way) that this promotion isn't just limited to the console bundle or eShop version.

@Yukes: I'm already seeing a lot of targeted YouTube advertising, and NoE have confirmed that they'll be marketing MK8 like crazy. Hopefully they'll make a big deal of the promotion too, because it's a great way to show off the system's biggest strength - the games - while also touting great value for money.

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