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Commercials? Check. Online promotions? Check. Pre-order bundles? Check. 1080p and 60fps to convince gamers and critics alike that the Wii U isn't an underpowered twig on an eighth generation tree? Double check. So what's left for Nintendo to do to promote Mario Kart 8 and the Wii U in preparation for the launch next week? How about working in collaboration with GameStop to sponsor a NASCAR during the Nationwide race series?
Nintendo Enthusiast is reporting that Nintendo and GameStop have joined forces to sponsor the no. 20 Toyota during the race this week, which will be broadcast on television to NASCAR fans across the nation.
As mentioned in the article...
“Tomorrow, May 23, 2014, 200 lucky fans won’t just get the opportunity to collect an autograph from NASCAR racer Matt Kenseth at Joe Gibbs Racing, but, on behalf of GameStop, they also be one of the lucky few to try out Mario Kart 8 at the event before the Wii U titles launches on next week.”
Complaints about Nintendo not doing enough to promote and market the Wii U have been addressed as of late. The company definitely could do more if they had more to work with, though. Outside of Mario Kart 8 they only have other first and second-party titles to rely on, such as Hyrule Warriors and Monolith Soft's 'X' due for release on the Wii U.
The biggest problem is that the lack of third-party support has really hurt the Wii U more than the so-called running theme of calling the console “underpowered”. The unique GamePad functionality opens up the Wii U for a ton of potentiality, but sadly it's being ignored by most of the big third-party publishers, so much so that Ubisoft has basically given up on the Wii U as far as new titles go at E3 2014, as noted by Nintendo Everything; and EA previously mentioned that they have nothing new in the works for the Wii U.
Nintendo being a heterodox innovator in their software and hardware methodology compared to the traditional standard of AAA publishers, hasn't helped them any with building software support. Nevertheless, they're doing a bang-up job gaining media support and coverage for Mario Kart 8 and the Wii U leading up to the May 30th release.
In fact, Nintendo recently joined forces with PDP, Performance Designed Products, to release a brand new GameCube-style controller planned for release with Super Smash Bros. on the Wii U later this year, as noted by My Nintendo News.
This will definitely help with the marketing spread for Super Smash Bros. much in the same way that the new Mario Kart 8 wheel bundle helped keep the game on the best seller charts.
Now all Nintendo needs to hope for is that all this marketing pays off and they can sell enough Wii U SKUs to keep their lead on Microsoft and the Xbox One.