Mario Kart 8 has gotten good buzz, but it has been difficult to tell if it was the elusive system seller the Wii U really needs. The answer, according to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, appears to be "yes."
Fils-Aime told Polygon that Wii U sales quadrupled the week after the release of Mario Kart, as compared to the week prior. Wii U sales weren't doing all that hot to begin with, of course, but a four-fold increase is still impressive. 18% of Wii U owners purchased a copy of Mario Kart 8 in the first weekend, as compared to a 2-7% adoption rate for previous Mario Karts in their respective opening weekends.
Fils-Aime says he expects the impact of Mario Kart to continue well into the future, given that Nintendo games tend to enjoy steadily consistent sales instead of the sharp drop-off of many triple-A releases.
"It's one of the things I have to do with certain media, remind them, look, for us, the drive toward the holiday began a couple of weeks ago with Mario Kart 8," he said. "And that's off to a fantastic start. For us, on a global basis, and certainly here in the United States, it's driving hardware, which is great to see."