Our friends at Engadget report that Pennzoil and Nintendo have partnered up for what the 8-year old inside us could only describe as "the coolest commercial ever, next to those Stretch Armstrong guys." The two companies have brought the Mario Kart franchise into the real world with modified karts on a specially-designed track at the SXSW festival.
Icons representing familiar in-game weapons like the banana peel and red shell (as well as a Pennzoil icon) are spread throughout a 1,000-foot long track, and grant bonuses when activated. The Pennzoil icon, for example, will speed up a driver's kart. The karts are representative of Mario, Luigi, Peach and Bowser who - hey, imagine that! - will be appearing in Mario Kart 8, due this May.
This might seem like a strange partnership, but hey, it's not the first time Nintendo has spread to the real world to cross-promote products. Besides, the Big N couldn't have found a more appropriate partner - Pennzoil is owned by Shell. Shell. Get it? Cuz it's Mario Kart. [...]
Thinking about jumping into the world of Wii U console ownership? For a limited time, Nintendo's online store is offering refurbished Deluxe bundles for $200, knocking $50 off the console's regular price.
The bundle includes a black Wii U 32GB console, Wii U gamepad, pack-in NintendoLand game, adapters for the console and gamepad, a sensor bar for Wii controller compatibility and an HDMI cable. The console also carries a standard one year warranty.
The only caveat is the bundle is not eligible for Club Nintendo registration, meaning new owners can't earn coins toward special offers available from Nintendo. Though Nintendo says products in the bundle "may have minor cosmetic blemishes, it is guaranteed to be fully functional." [...]
This week's round of eShop releases is more for the retro-heads among you. For starters NES nostalgics can to take to different kinds of green in Adventure Island 2 (3DS) and NESOpen Tournament Golf(Wii U), while fans of 1980s anime Mysterious Cities of Gold may be tempted by 3DS puzzle-adventure Secret Paths.
On the new releases side, puzzler Blok Drop U has one of the cheapest launch prices (if not the cheapest) you'll find on Wii U, or any console for that matter. It's also one of the first HTML5 games on the system, so we may see others pitched at similar prices.
Talking of low prices and retro, Runner2is getting a sale starting next week on March 10: The rhythmic auto-runner slides from $15 to $5 until 9AM PT/midday ET on March 17.
Aiden Pearce is a complicated guy. Tormented by his past and his actions as a skilled hacker, the Watch Dogs protagonist has lost family and his identity to a world that hides its secrets behind firewalls. But he does this by using the systems he questions as his own destructive weapon, given the opportunity to wreak havoc on the lives of people in ways the establishment perhaps never would. He can steal people's money or use their secrets against them for information or access, all under the guise of combatting a security system that threatens the world's privacy.
Though the security state setting of Watch Dogs is dystopian, it does not venture into the dour imagery found in the pages of a Phillip K. Dick story. Its world is contemporary, taking place in an alt-history Chicago that looks similar to its real world counterpart and holds the title of America's first "Smart City, "one controlled by a powerful monitoring system infrastructure.
For players this offers a gateway of access, transforming simple button presses into a world of possibilities and making infiltration and information-gathering the most important element in Ubisoft's newest open world.
Nintendo of Europe announced a limited edition Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle is coming to the continent, and it includes a spiky blue collector's model that you probably shouldn't chuck at friends, even if you really want first place. Europeans can shell out for the bundle when the racer launches on May 30.
There are no details on a suggested retail price, but Nintendo UK is currently selling its single-game range of premium 32GB Wii Us at £250, so that looks a safe bet. Nintendo of America hasn't announced a similar bundle for the states.
Nintendo also announced a Mario Kart 8 promo that harks back to the series' beginnings more than two decades ago - and to what is still the best entry in the series according to people who are right. Yes, SNES classic Super Mario Kart is swerving its way onto the Wii U Virtual Console in Europe on March 27, and if you buy it before June 30 you get a £5.49/8 euros discount on the downloadable version of Mario Kart 8. [Image: Nintendo]
An upgraded version of Drinkbox Studios' luchador action-platformer Guacamelee! is coming soon to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Wii U, IGN reports.
Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition collects all DLC from the game's previously released PSN and Steam editions, including a selection of add-on costumes and the "Diablo's Domain" level pack. The campaign has been reworked and extended with new areas and boss fights, and characters now boast new abilities not featured in Guacamelee's original release.
A release date has not been announced, though developer Drinkbox notes that Super Turbo Championship Edition will hit digital platforms "soon." [...]