This week Super Smash Bros. on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS had its first DLC in the form of Mii character outfits, while on 23rd April we'll get to enjoy the Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2. We know there's more to come in Super Smash Bros. in the form of purchasable characters - Mewtwo (already available to eligible Club Nintendo members) and Lucas are confirmed, and the Fighter Ballot will bring more - and probably additional outfits, while the future of DLC on Mario Kart 8 is decidedly less clear.
In the case of Mario Kart 8, though, we wouldn't rule out more DLC in the future. From what we can understand this extra content has performed well commercially, and that's no surprise - when you have one of the best games on a system and bolster it with top-quality, high value DLC, odds of success are high. It'll be interesting to see how Smash Bros. fans respond to the costumes, meanwhile, but we have no hesitation in predicting that DLC characters such as Lucas will sell particularly well.
With the Wii U library being typified as high on quality but low on quantity, in terms of regular releases, the question begs itself as to whether DLC for these two blockbusters is a useful tool for Nintendo to retain interest in the Wii U (and the 3DS version of Smash Bros., of course). It strikes us as no coincidence that in April, a month with no retail releases, Nintendo pushed ahead with DLC for the system's two biggest games.
Both titles have almost endless potential, too. The first Mario Kart 8 DLC pack broke the taboo - if it was even taboo - of non-Mario franchises being included, with The Legend of Zelda and F-Zero characters and tracks that, for this writer's money, were the highlights of the pack. We have more F-Zero and now Animal Crossing in pack 2, along with even more amiibo character skins, and so Nintendo Kart, which we wrote about before, is slowly becoming a reality. As for Smash Bros., that whole IP is a delightful mess of characters from a whole load of franchises, and works wonderfully. There's very little that's inconceivable for that game.
We've heard intriguing comments about Mario Kart 8, for example, almost becoming a platform in its own right that could continually expand. As Nintendo looks to keep fans happy while using development resources wisely, suddenly that seems like a valid idea for Mario Kart and Smash Bros. - a core game that's great value, but extras arriving on a consistent basis; let's not forget we're still due online Tournies in Smash Bros., which will really give it more online life.
We're going to write about all of this in an editorial, but we want your views; would you like to see Nintendo continue to commit resources to keep expanding both of these games for the next couple of years? Will you take all the DLC you're offered, or do you think it should be limited and resources put into other projects?
Share your thoughts in the polls and comments, as always.