News Article

Mario Kart 8 Team Talk GamePad Features, Track Design And F-Zero

Posted by Tim Latshaw

Hideki Konno and Kosuke Yobuki spill some beans

French site Gamekult sat down with Mario Kart 8 producer Hideki Konno and director Kosuke Yobuki at E3 to talk about the inspirations and intentions around the latest, gravity-tumbling installment of the series.

According to a translation of the interview, the reverse gravity idea showcased in Mario Kart 8 was motivated by similar effects in the F-Zero and Super Mario Galaxy series. When asked why F-Zero or an entirely new IP has not yet been considered, Konno replied that there has always been a tradition of one Mario Kart game per console, but added that he hoped to see a new F-Zero entry in the future.

Mario Kart 8 has been in production for a little more than a year and is being undertaken solely by Nintendo EAD in Kyoto, according to Konno. No other studios are involved.

As for other gameplay features, Konno said the priority for the GamePad at this time is to serve as a remote screen, but that other options are under consideration — including, but certainly nowhere close to confirmed, a Double Dash-styled mode.

The tracks, according to Yobuki, have also been narrowed compared to those in Mario Kart Wii (where the Wii Wheel was more often in use) and rides will have similar customization options to those in Mario Kart 7, albeit with “a little more choice.”

How would you like Mario Kart 8 to shape up in comparison to other entries in the series? Let us know below.


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User Comments (71)



KingDunsparce said:

I'm glad F-Zero still has a chance.
Also, Double Dash is my favorite Mario Kart, so a mode styled like that would be awesome.



Kewlan said:

How about they do a 1000cc cup, with special stages?
And for the Double-Dash mode, the GamePad user could have a view of the behind, while the other person drives and watches the TV.



Oniinside said:

I'm going to buy this only if they come out with something really peculiar... the reverse gravity is not enough imho... not after MK Wii and 7! A deeper solo campaign would be awesome (or, simply put, a more extended one)



TheHeroOfLegend said:

The trailer made me really excited for it and so did my friends. Definitely a blockbuster for the Wii U.



MrWalkieTalkie said:

Makes sense that they didn't do F-Zero. You offer either Mario Kart or F-Zero, people will most likely go for Mario Kart. And right now Wii U needs sales, what better way than to offer whats popular but with even more? F-Zero can come later in Wii U's life but right now we need a console-seller, and for many, Mario Kart is the answer!

Same reason no new IPs weren't shown off at E3. Nintendo can't take risks at this time with something new. They have to stick with what's popular to help push Wii Us off the shelves!



jorgem696 said:

I wish they could have voice chat on Mario Kart then u could trash talk to little kids



Rafie said:

A what?! A DOUBLE DASH MODE?!?!?! HELLZ YESH!! Double Dash is my all time favorite Mario Kart and I would be over the moon if they added that mode to it. No doubt! Damn this game is probably going be up for GOTY next year.



TheHeroOfLegend said:

@jorgem696 why would you need voice chat for a racing game? Besides talking trash will only cause flame wars and make Mario Kart 8 a game to avoid for multiplayer.



Tuurtledove said:


Voice chat would be wonderful between Friends/Miiverse Followers however. And remember that it's not necessarily just for the Racing portion. It'd work rather well when battling alongside team members in a BallonBattle match



Shiryu said:

Hope for a new "F-Zero" has been holding me on for the past decade, glad to see people inside Nintendo also have that very same hope.



FZeroFan321 said:

Yes F-Zero! Make it happen Nintendo! All I want for the next F-Zero game is 30 player online, Track editor, customizing vehicles, and beautiful HD graphics that's all I want.



Pierceton said:

Yeah Mario Kart is fun but F-Zero is hard so it would be nice for a challenge from Nintendo in a racing game.



JaxonH said:

I'm actually pretty excited for Mario Kart 8. The anti-gravity looks cool and fun, a little something to spruce up the tracks a bit, and the graphics look absolutely stunning. While I never did like Mario Kart Wii, I thought MK7 was decent for a handheld, and am glad to see the submarine and glider carts return. Mario Kart's a game where the winning formula is already established, so I don't feel it needs to be something totally different or fresh. Just perfect what's already been made, bring the graphics up to current gen standards, add a few little extras and I'm sold. I think back to my days as a teenager playing Mario Kart 64 everyday with my friends, and what I would've given to have a game like Mario Kart 8! The change has happened gradually, but now that I think about it, Mario Kart 8 is actually the game I always dreamed was possible as a kid! I just hope for really fun battle mode stages. That battle mode took YEARS of life from me and my friends growing up, hell even the time trials. I actually set 4 world record times according to what GamePro had printed in their magazine way back then. Who knows if anyone ever bested my times... I still remember, 21.92 seconds for Wario Stadium, beating the 22.00 second record shown in the magazine. It took me like 2 straight weeks to pull off that shortcut perfectly all 3 laps lol



Ruthven said:

Double Dash will always have a special place in my heart... Bring on DD mode and heaps of DLC racers and tracks from outside of the Mario Universe!!



Solidopc said:

I'd always be in line for MK. It's what got me hooked on games. It was the snes for me. I don't want any double dash nonsense though. It is my alltime least favourite MK. It would actually put me off buying it i disliked it so much. Unless of course they cleverly let you not have to have two characters. But it would still make online multilayer mildly unbearable for me having everyone with double weapons & different weapons. No exclusive weapons please. Also you wonder how they would work the kart/bike size thing with interchangeable different size characters. It all just paints a picture of a muddled up game to me. Stick to what has always worked with the innovative new stuff. Not ideas that were ditched for being awful brought back.



Captain_Toad said:

Yeah, I'm go with everyone and wish for a Double-dash feature (or something similar to that)to return. This Mario kart outta be fantastic.



Darel18 said:

I wonder if they will BRING BACK the co-operative campaign that Mario Kart 64 had... Still waiting <_<



allav866 said:

I'm not gonna be disappointed if it doesn't happen, but it would be nice if they added the missions mode from MKDS. It's not every day a racing game has boss fights. Also, we haven't seen an All-Cup Tour since Mario Kart started to include 8 cups instead of 4.



Solidopc said:

If they have any sense at all, they will release DLC tracks & battle maps. Perhaps even karts. And if smash bros can have all those awesome characters, why can't MK have some for special download & new karts / bikes. But knowing Nintendo, I'll be happy with just new tracks. That will keep the game fresh. They could release seasonal cups of 4 tracks with relevantly designed tracks. Can't be too tough for Nintendo to come up with 4 MK tracks, every so often. A feature like that could propell the WiiU & MK8 to must haves. Then it's hello 3rd parties once more.



NintyMan said:

A Double Dash mode would be really cool. Mario Kart Wii had a few good tracks, so I'm fine with 8 having new tracks more like those. If the customization from 7 is basically going to be expanded, then I just hope that the parts are more effective while still being balanced. This will become the first time bikes will have customization too, so that will be interesting.



ToastyYogurt said:

@Solidopc: I would love it if MK8 had some sort of DLC, as long as they stick to delivering new tracks/cups/maps/characters, but NOT carts. If they released new carts as paid DLC, that would give people that give extra money the advantage of having extra carts to chose from. And even if it was released as free DLC, releasing new carts after the game came out could unbalance the game.



jedisquidward said:

I just want there to be ALOT of characters, including but not limited to,
Petey Pirhana
Larry Koopa
Roy Koopa
Cosmic Mario
Blue Toad
I really think there should also be some new items, including but not limited to,
Blue Baby Yoshi (Makes Bubbles)
Cat Bell (Can Climb on Walls)
Coin Block Head (Increases Coins to 10, then goes away)



retro_player_22 said:

Hearing that F-Zero still lives is enough to get me excited, now I hope Star Fox, 2D Metroid, Wave Race, 1080, and Sin and Punishment all would have a chance too. Anyways still sad about no more EarthBound sequels, really which the series didn't end so soon but oh well.



jedisquidward said:

And dangit, even though this probably won't happen, I really just want it to have all the courses from every game. I mean, the Wii U should be able to handle it, right?



retro_player_22 said:


Kinda wish they add Mouser, Kamek, Ludwig von Koopa, Boom Boom, and any one of the Koopa Brothers (Sledge, Hammer, Fire, Boomerang, Sumo, etc.) in there too. Those are some of the more popular villains and baddies from the main Super Mario series.



3DGamer said:

My 2 favorite Mario Kart games Wii and DD I loved DD since it was my first and me driving and having my big brother punch people out of the way and use items and the exclusive items/carts And Wii with the Motorcycles and bith for the great courses.



CaPPa said:

I was really impressed with Mario Kart 8 after playing the demo and I think that it could end up being the best one yet.



WiiLovePeace said:

I'm very excited about Mario Kart 8, it looks set to be tonnes of fun! I hope they manage to come up with a Double Dash mode, that'd be a perfect use for the gamepad

... Though I just wanna say the co-op in Double Dash sucked! I really don't know how anyone liked it. The 2nd player could send items, but the 1st player could still do that too, & you couldn't switch characters to get the 2nd player to drive, hence having a 2nd player was really pointless. The only benefit would be to get the double dash starting boost. Unless my friend & I were doing something wrong?

Even if they don't include an improved DD mode, I'm still excited for MK8, it just looks like crazy fun Oh! & I'm suprised he specifically said they're not working with other studios, does that mean no DKC: Tropical Freeze track? I'm also suprised they made DK by themselves & didn't get Retro Studios to make the DK for them like they usually do. Surely the entirety of Retro Studios isn't stuck on making DKC: Tropical Freeze... Makes me wonder if Retro haven't actually been working on a second secret game... The mystery continues!



bizcuthammer said:

I'd like to see a mario kart game take a page from Diddy Kong Racing and give us a single player mode with a light story, challenges, unlockable characters, and boss battle showdowns.



SparkOfSpirit said:

Double Dash mode would have been perfect for the gamepad (especially with two gamepads), I have no idea why that wasn't considered from the beginning.

Me and my friends had so much fun with that, especially with co-op in the same kart. I REALLY wished they would have used the Wii-U's features to really expand that concept.



WiiLovePeace said:

@Exile20 Ah, that explains it. Thank you for correcting my mistake That was the number one reason I thought co-op was lame, but now I feel like I've been missing out on an awesome feature of Double Dash for years!



Royalblues said:

I just hope there's more than 32 tracks. This is the Wii U. Put in like 45 tracks or more!



Sanqet said:

I hope it's got a good single player as well as multiplayer I remember diddy kong racing on the n64 by rare all those years ago had a great single player mode something like that would be great



FritzFrapp said:

Hope they bring back Baby Park. A special Baby Park Derby, of say 10 laps or more, would be an online dream of chaos and carnage.



doctor_doak said:

I went into the E3 Nintendo Direct with minimal expectations for M8. I just wasn't excited at all for it...but, it just looks INCREDIBLE!!

All I want is no 'blue shell', and no cheesing gimmick of any kind....It should be purely 'skill' based. Mario Kart wii just killed my enthusiasm for the Mario Kart franchise, because it felt like.. no matter how well you did in a race, you were going to be leader bombed or see another player pass you with the bullet boost late in a race. It was like, the worst thing you could do was to be coming 1st in the latter stages of a race..

It's nice to make your game accessible to a wide audience, but you need to give something to the perfectionists who treat the game almost as a sort of e-sport. Why not make two modes??? A more casual mode that retains leader bombs, etc...and a more hardcore mode which really tests your twitch reflexes and gives you no assistance at all??



ZueriHB said:

I don't understand what peoples beef with the blue shell is.
But I didn't like the Wii iteration because of the wider tracks. Happy to hear they narrow it down.



Kirk said:

"Mario Kart 8 has been in production for a little more than a year and is being undertaken solely by Nintendo EAD in Kyoto, according to Konno. No other studios are involved."

That's a pretty impressive dev time considering how high quality and polished this game already looks.



Kirk said:


Totally agree.

This is why I personally have always prefered the F-Zero games over the Mario Kart games...because while Mario Kart might be fun it's usually just based on quite a bit of random luck and as someone who takes winning and indeed loosing quite seriously I don't find that kind of random racing game quite as satisfying or ultimately enjoyable.

Mario Kart 8 does however look great regardless.

I'd still like to see a new F-Zero game too though.



Kirk said:


I'm sorry but just measuring how "good" or "next-gen", or whatever it is you're measuring, by the number of tracks is stupid.

32 tracks is a lot you know and as long as they are all fun then just asking for more for the sake of having a higher number is the exact kind of attitude that ends up with you getting games with lots of crappy unpolished content rather than games with slightly less content but of a much higher standard in general.

More is not always better and only simpletons think like this and it's why many series eventually just become a bit convoluted and bloated compared to earlier games in the series that were far more focused and often just more fun because of it imo.

I know what I'd go for.



Araknie said:

Narrowed? Well the seem huge enough to me. LOL

But i didn't like in Mario Kart Wii to have all that space that was outside the course that was for nothing, how many times i tried to find there a secret shortcut without any luck...was pretty frustating. At least now i'll be less tempted to do that.



RickyNGmr said:

Is awesome to hear that a Double Dash mode is being trying to be possibly adapt to the GamePad. Was a lot of fun I had playing DD. I still got it Is one of the most loved game by my wife also; so could be great!

I do believe the Big N will try to expand MK8 thru DLC. If im not wrong, at E3's Direct they mentioned MK8 will include the best online multiplayer and feature never seen before for the series; thus might be a sort of more robust DLC than any other series at this time at least.

And Blue Shells, Bring them all jajajajaja!!!!!



Shambo said:

I'm finally nearing my goal of setting up a permanent Double Dash LAN at home, but that's not making me less excited about a Double Dash mode in MK8. Nor does the latter make me want the first less. And I equally want F-Zero to happen. Perhaps even slightly more... It's been a while.



Capt_N said:

Question is: the trackss themselves being more narrow, or just the selection? Could be either. Also, in regards to his F-Zero response, I think Nintendo knows Mario Kart makes them more profit; Maybe it's me, but also MK is a series Nintendo always has out by the end of the first to second year of a system's lifespan.



rjejr said:

I'll be very disappointed if I can't steer w/ the Gamepad. Was playing Sonic that way in Gamestop a couple of weeks ago and it worked fine. And my wife will never make it thru a rainbow road like track w/ a narrower road (And she uses the normal controller). MK Wii is 1 of the few games whe'll play w/ us. That and Brawl.

Game looks good. W/ that Q2 release date I think I know what we'll be doing next summer vacation. Last day of school June 27th. (I'm a plan ahead kind of guy.)



RickyNGmr said:

You know guys, MK always has been a good seller .. so Im almost sure tracks will be perhaps same amount available at launch (commonly the 8 cups) but certainly bigger tracks will come as DLC!!
They said actually off-tv is what have be implemented, but , might be cool as single player have the ability to use rear view thru the gamepad (more acccurate items to be launch ). While am sure the map would be display on the GamePad too however!



bassoongoon said:

Wow, they have not been developing it super long! No wonder it is coming out in the spring!



banacheck said:


I'll be very disappointed if I can't steer w/ the Gamepad. Was playing Sonic that way in Gamestop a couple of weeks ago and it worked fine.

As long as it's optional i don't mind as after so long your arms would begin to ache,

include the best online multiplayer and feature never seen before for the series

This sound promising.



GreatPlayer said:

@doctor_doak @retro_player_22 @Epicnessofme99
F-Zero may not be a priority due to hardware problems.

If anyone has played Sonic Racing Transformed (a game slightly slower in speed than F-zero), you will realize that the frame rate only reaches 30 (rather than 60). In addition, in one of the tracks that requires intense graphics and shaking environment, the framerate becomes extremely unstable (sometimes even freezes for a fraction of a second). Sonic Transformed has stretched the Wii U hardware quite tensely. Therefore, hardware limitation may in turn constrain the possibility of a fast-pace game like F-zero. Notice that Sega was the company which made Sonic Transformed and F-Zero GX. If F-Zero is made again, Nintendo will need to trade off graphics with speed or vice versa.

Mario Kart 8 will not be a problem because it is graphically less intense and a slower kart game.



Jukilum said:

@rjejr They confirmed that both motion and normal controls for the gamepad would be available in I think the Mario Kart 8 Developer Direct.



Truelovetat said:

F-Zero GX HD is what I would love to see on the Wii U. So many would love to see this happen. But if not a remake of GX, I would like to see Nintendo do something similar to GX since it was the best in the F-Zero library. IMO.



BulbasaurusRex said:

Make sure that local multiplayer doesn't suck this time. Give us back multiplayer Grand Prix, good Battle Mode arenas, the option to play Battle Mode as an untimed last man standing free-for-all, and hopefully even All Cup Tour.



Phoenix1983 said:

They need to bring back character specific power-ups from Double Dash... that'll be cool!

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