In Mario Kart, if you time your button press at the start of a race, you can get a boost right out of the gate. And this is exactly what Mark Kart 8’s sales are doing.

Nintendo claims it has sold more than 1.2 million copies of Mark Kart 8 since the racer launched Friday. That is an impressive attach rate considering that Nintendo has only sold around 6.2 million Wii Us since launching the console in November 2012. Of course, it’s possible that a number of Mario Kart 8’s sales came from the $330 Wii U bundle that includes the game. Nintendo is not breaking down physical, digital, and bundle sales. The company needs this game to perform well, as the Wii U has struggled to sell well despite major releases in the Mario franchise.

“The early response to Mario Kart 8 demonstrates that the best days for Wii U are still ahead,” Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said in a statement.

It’s likely that Mario Kart 8 will help the Wii U, but it’s unclear if it’ll have the effect that Nintendo needs. Sony’s PlayStation 4, which launched a year after Wii U, has already outsold Nintendo’s system. The Xbox One will likely do the same very soon. Other than Mario Kart 8, the only other major Nintendo Wii U release that gamers can look forward to is Super Smash Bros. That four-player fighter isn’t due out until winter.

If Mario Kart 8 is convincing players to pick up the Wii U, the company will have to announce a number of other exciting titles at the Electronic Entertainment Expo tradeshow next week to keep people interested. That is the plan, according to Nintendo of America.

“This year’s E3 is just days away, and it will be all about the future games for Nintendo platforms,” said Fils-Aime.

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Reginald "Reggie" Fils-Aime is President and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, the North American division of the Japan-based video game company Nintendo.Prior to his promotion... All Reggie Fils Aime news »

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