Mario Kart 8 Wii U Racing Wheel Pre-Orders Available
A new racing wheel has been announced for the upcoming release of Mario Kart 8, the high-end exclusive due for release on May 30th for the Wii U.
According to Nintendo Insider, additional peripherals are already being made available for the Wii U, jumping in on the accessory bandwagon of a potentially huge sales boon for the launch of Mario Kart 8 this spring.
The PowerA accessory is a simple wheel capsule for the original Wii-mote. Given that the GamePad tablet (though I'm still inclined to call it the Wii-Pad) is way too big for any sort of accessory, there's still a market for the original Wii's peripherals given that the Wii U – unlike the PS4 and the Xbox One – is completely backward compatible with the previous generation accessories and controllers.
The accessory allows you to snugly fit the Wii-mote into the wheel and use it as a catalyst for all the hard-hitting driving action associated with the upcoming Mario Kart 8.
Unfortunately, the wheel is only available for pre-order to those in the European territories via GAME. It's only available for Ł9.99 and will release just a week before Mario Kart 8 drops.
After scouring through GameStop's Wii U accessories, it doesn't appear as if there's an equivalent racing wheel accessory being made available for pre-order for North Americans, at this time.
It seems a little odd given that Americans seem to enjoy the Wii U a bit more than the Europeans, but I guess maybe there's a bigger market for Wii U peripherals over there? There's definitely more Wii U's in America and Japan than Europe at the moment, but again... maybe they have a high attachment rate to accessories that I'm missing.
I'm hoping, though, that the racing wheel will be the first of many accessories made available for the Wii U for this spring. Mario Kart 8 is expected to shift big numbers for the Wii U when it drops on May 30th and if it's anything close to what Mario Kart Wii did for the original Wii, we could be looking at multi-million units shifted over the lifetime of the Wii U... in the double digits.
It's also interesting that we're not seeing more Wii U peripherals on the horizon given that Nintendo doesn't have the same sort of restriction on hardware that Microsoft does with the Xbox One. It would seem like we should be seeing more than what we have; but then again there's a lot more Nintendoom out there circulating for the Big 'N', so that could explain the pensive attitude many companies have toward promoting or supporting the Wii U at this point.
I get a feeling that if Nintendo plays their cards right and promotes the Wii U and Mario Kart 8 properly this spring, it could help turnaround all that Nintendoom and put them back on the fast-track to keeping their lead in the current generation console race.
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