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Mario Kart 8

UPDATE: Nintendo of America has announced pricing for North America: $7.99 each or an $11.99 bundle.

Why stop with Super Smash Bros. for your Nintendo crossover needs?  A page on Nintendo's UK website details the upcoming downloadable expansions for the Wii U's Mario Kart 8 in which new tracks and characters will be offered for purchase.  What's really interesting here is that content from The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing are included in the mix in addition to nods to franchises like F-Zero.  Here are the details:

Each Add On Content pack will contain two new cups, each with four courses, which, in total, increases the number of available courses by 50 percent. The Add On Content packs include classics like Wario’s Gold Mine from Mario Kart Wii, as well as new courses, some taking place in the worlds of The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing. New vehicles will also arrive with each pack, including the Blue Falcon kart representing the F-Zero franchise in the first AOC pack.

Mario Kart 8 Pack 1 - Released: November 2014

Pack 1 includes:

  • 3 Characters: Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, Link
  • 4 Vehicles
  • 8 Courses

Mario Kart 8 Pack 2 - Released: May 2015

Pack 2 includes:

  • 3 Characters: Villager, Isabelle, Dry Bowser
  • 4 Vehicles
  • 8 Courses

As a bonus for purchasing both packs - as a bundle or separately - you can get eight different-coloured Yoshis and eight different-coloured Shy Guys that can be used right away.

Exciting, yes?  I know I'm interested, although I think offering more variations on Mario and Peach is a little lazy.  Adding Link and the Blue Falcon makes up for it though, as do the new courses.  Here's hoping one of the new tracks is a run through Hyrule.  These DLC packs are an example of Nintendo in Wii U panic mode; they're giving the people what they want for a fair price (listed as £7 each which is $11.60 at today's exchange rates).  It's hard to imagine a confident, cocky Nintendo offering this much value. Spacing the packs out helps keep interest in the game alive, too. I know everyone was worried about how Nintendo would behave when it finally got into the DLC business, but I think this is a good sign that they'll be fair when it comes to balancing content with value.