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Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart Wii.png
Box art, depicting Mario and Luigi using the Wii Wheel
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Yasuyuki Oyagi
Producer(s) Hideki Konno
  • Hirotake Ohtsubo
  • Yoshihisa Morimoto
  • Katsuhisa Sato
  • Yusuke Shiraiwa
  • Yukihiko Ito
  • Keiichiro Kato
  • Ichiro Suzuki
Artist(s) Daisuke Kageyama
  • Asuka Hayazaki
  • Ryo Nagamatsu
Series Mario Kart
Platform(s) Wii
Release date(s)
  • April 10, 2008 EU
Genre(s) Kart racing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Mario Kart Wii is a 2008 kart racing game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii. It is the sixth installment in the Mario Kart series, and was released in April 2008. Like its previous installments, Mario Kart Wii incorporates playable characters from the Mario series, who participate in races on 32 different race tracks using specialized items to hinder opponents or gain advantages. The game features multiple single-player and multiplayer game modes including two to four person split screen. Online multiplayer was supported until the discontinuation of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection in May 2014. Mario Kart Wii uses the Wii Remote's motion-controls to provide intuitive and conventional steering controls. Each copy of the game was bundled with the Wii Wheel accessory to augment this feature and mimic a steering wheel.

The game received positive reviews upon release, with praise for the online mode, coupled with its characters, innovative gameplay, tracks, and karts, but received criticism for its item balancing and rubber-band difficulty adjustment. The game sold over 37 million copies, making it the second best-selling Mario Kart game after Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and one of the best-selling video games of all time.


Mario Kart Wii screenshot
Yoshi drifting during a race on Mario Circuit

Mario Kart Wii is a kart racing game featuring single-player and multiplayer modes. The players control one of many selectable Mario franchise characters and participate in races or battles using go-karts or bikes on courses thematically based on locations from the Mario franchise. During gameplay, the player views the action from a third-person perspective that tracks the player from behind their kart. Mario Kart Wii supports four different control schemes. The primary control scheme is the Wii Remote, optionally used in conjunction with the plastic Wii Wheel accessory, which uses the controller's motion-controls to simulate operating a steering wheel. The other supported control schemes are the Wii Remote with the Nunchuk attachment; the Classic Controller; and the GameCube controller. While driving, the player collects power-ups from item boxes placed in various points on the track. These power-ups allow the player to attack opponents, causing them to slow down or spin out of control; defend against such attacks, or gain boosts in speed. These include the series staple items, such as the Mushroom, Koopa Shell projectiles, the Super Star, banana peels and lightning bolts, as well as new items such as the Mega Mushroom and POW Block.

Mario Kart Wii is bundled with the Wii Wheel accessory.

Mario Kart Wii features twenty-four playable characters from the Mario series, the largest roster of any Mario Kart game until the release of Mario Kart 8 in 2014. The game features characters who have appeared in previous installments, including Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Toad, Donkey Kong, and Bowser, in addition to characters such as Rosalina, Funky Kong, and Dry Bowser who are playable for the first time. Unlike Mario Kart DS, where characters can drive a kart exclusive to that character and the standard go-kart, each character is assigned to one of three different weight classes, which affects the selection of vehicles the character can drive. In addition to this, Mario Kart Wii introduced two different classes of vehicles, Karts and Bikes, with the latter being a new addition to the series. Bikes were also subdivided further into two categories: regular and sports bikes, with sports bikes featuring an alternate drift type known as inside drifting. Mii characters saved in the console's Mii Channel are also playable. Thirty-six vehicles, are available in Mario Kart Wii, each of which has different properties that affect how the vehicle handles while driving. Half the characters and vehicles are initially unavailable to the player; certain objectives must be completed to unlock each one. For example, the Jetsetter (also known as the Aero Glider in PAL regions) must be unlocked by earning a 1 star rank or higher on all 150cc Retro Cups in Grand Prix mode.

The game features eight cups - sets of four different tracks - for a total of 32 unique tracks. 16 of the courses are new, while the other 16 are from prior Mario Kart games.

Mario Kart Wii features multiple game modes: Grand Prix, Time Trials, Versus, and Battle. All modes support single-player gameplay; Versus and Battle support local multiplayer for up to four players, with or without computer-controlled players. In Grand Prix, the player participates in four three-lap races from one of eight cups against eleven opponents. The player is awarded points at the end of each race based on their ranking. The total number of points collected, among other factors, determines the player's overall rank. Versus mode is similar to Grand Prix, but the presented courses and items are configurable. In Time Trials, the player must quickly complete the race in the fastest time possible—there are no opponents or items except for three Mushrooms given at the start of each race. The player can compete against a ghost character, which mimics a player's movements from an earlier race. Ghost data can be saved in the Wii console memory.

Battle mode is similar to that seen in previous installments in which players drive around an enclosed arena and attack each other using items. The players are divided into two teams, red and blue, and teammates cannot harm each other with their items. There are two variants of Battle mode available: Balloon Battle and Coin Runners. In Balloon Battle, each player's kart has three attached balloons. A player gains a point each time they pop or steal a balloon belonging to an opposing team player but loses a point each time they lose all balloons. In Coin Runners, the players collect coins scattered throughout the arena and attack opposing team members to make them drop coins. The team that has accumulated the most points or coins total when the three-minute time limit expires wins. There are ten arena courses available for Battle mode, which include five original courses and five retro courses.

Online play via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection was available until its discontinuation on May 20, 2014. Versus and Battle modes were available and supported up to twelve participants, and up to two players could connect and play from the same Wii console. Players could compete against random players from within the same region or from any continent, or could compete only against players registered as friends. At the end of each race or match, each player's VR (versus rating) or BR (battle rating) would change based on their final ranking. The Mario Kart Channel also offered additional online information, including regional or worldwide rankings for Time Trials, and monthly Nintendo sponsored tournaments with special objectives.


Mario Kart Wii is the sixth game in the Mario Kart series, following Mario Kart DS. Hideki Konno, who worked with the Software Development Department of Nintendo's Entertainment Analysis & Development (EAD) division and had previously worked on the first two Mario Kart games as well as Mario Kart DS, served as the game's producer. Shigeru Miyamoto acted as “General Producer” and gave miscellaneous advice on various aspects of the game.

Features cut from Mario Kart DS due to time constraints were implemented in Mario Kart Wii alongside various improvements to online play. The developers also wanted to avoid online races becoming more deserted as they progressed, thus altering the online matchmaking to allow players to join a race once it is finished for participation in the next one. The game was the first in the series to feature BMX motorbikes as drivable vehicles, an idea which Konno had proposed since Double Dash out of his passion for extreme sports but was rejected due to the seemingly bizarre image of Mario riding a bike. The game was briefly known internally under the name "Mario Kart X" before its final name was decided upon, referring to the "X" in the word "extreme".

Mario Kart Wii was officially announced at E3 2007; the online features and the first footage of the game were shown at the Expo. During Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aimé's presentation, he unveiled the game via a trailer that showed some of the new characters and tracks. The trailer also displayed that the game would include up to twelve simultaneous racers. Additional details of the game were later released in conjunction with the Nintendo Fall 2007 Conference held in October 2007, where it was revealed that it would include bikes and the Wii Wheel. New gameplay footage from the game was also shown, and the release date was revealed to be set for spring 2008.

To complement Mario Kart Wii's unique motion controls, a wheel-shaped plastic casing for the Wii Remote was included with some versions of the game. The designers tested roughly 30 different prototypes of the wheel with different shapes, colors, and weights based on real-life go-karts. The final design for the wheel was made to be as lightweight as possible for it to suit long-term periods of gameplay, and it was made entirely white despite experimentation with two-colored designs for it to fit with the color scheme of previous peripherals such as the Wii Zapper and the Wii Balance Board. A blue ring with the Wii logo inside of it was also placed on the backside of the wheel to give spectating players something interesting to look at; as a result, this blue ring ended up being featured in the game's logo.

The game's music was composed by Asuka Hayazaki and Ryo Nagamatsu, who both used new interpretations of the familiar melodies from earlier games alongside original material. A 43-track official soundtrack was released in December 2011 as a Club Nintendo reward in Japan. The speaker on the Wii Remote is frequently used during gameplay, with sound effects being emitted from it. During the extensive testing of the different Wii Wheel prototypes, the developers decided to have the voice actors play the game during recording sessions.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Mario Kart Wii para niños

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