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Mario Kart 8 makes YouTube-sharing history for Nintendo — and you get a free game if you buy it

Above: Mario Kart 8 is performing well for the struggling Wii U.

Image Credit: Nintendo

Xbox One and PlayStation 4 both have a number of livestreaming and video-sharing options. The Wii U doesn’t, but Nintendo is bringing something similar to the system’s upcoming kart racer.

In a presentation that it released this morning, Nintendo detailed Mario Kart 8. That anticipated sequel will hit the Wii U on May 30 for $60, and it will bring along the ability to create highlight clips. Nintendo also announced that anyone who buys and registers the kart racer in the first two months of its release with the Club Nintendo customer-reward site will get to choose one of four free digital games. The publisher also revealed a $330 Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle that includes the system, the game, a Mario-branded Wii remote, and a red racing wheel. Nintendo’s latest home console is struggling, and the company is trying to position Mario Kart 8 as a system-seller as it is one of only two major releases that the publisher is planning for this year.

The video-sharing feature in Mario Kart 8, which is a first for any Nintendo game, enables players to watch their friends’ videos through Mario Kart TV, a mode built into the game. Gamers can also use Mario Kart TV to directly upload their favorite runs to the YouTube website. This is something Xbox One can do on a system level and the PS4 is getting eventually (although it can currently upload directly to Facebook).

As for the free-game promotion, Nintendo will give away a digital download code for one of four select Wii U titles to anyone who registers on Club Nintendo before July 31. The participating games are The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3, New Super Mario Bros. U, or Wii Party U.

That means that customers could snatch up the Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle on May 30, register the cartoony racer, and get a free game for $330.

You can get the full details and much more in the Nintendo Direct video below:

The Wii U is not selling nearly as well as the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, and this is hurting Nintendo’s bottom line. Mario Kart 8 is one of the only big-name, crowd-pleasing exclusives due out in the first half of the year for Wii U. The company also has a new Super Smash Bros. game in the works for the system, but it announced the 3DS version is going to hit months before its home-console counterpart. The Wii U Smash Bros. is now oddly set to debut in “winter 2014,” which begins Dec. 21.

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