Given starters' orders for a spring 2014 launch, "Mario Kart 8" blends advancements made in "Mario Kart Wii" and the 3DS's "Mario Kart 8" with tricks from a couple of other recent kart racers.
Players will be able to post race replays to the Nintendo Miiverse via "Mario Kart TV," and karts can not only sprout glider wings during airborne sections, but also flip their wheels and become super powered hovercars.
Vertical wall climbs and upside-down racing crib from the crazy course designs that made an appearance in "Formula 1 Race Stars," while evidence for multiple routes builds on the spectacular "Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed."
Favorite drivers are still in the hot seat, with Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Wario, Bowser and co still on track, and power-ups are distributed throughout each circuit to help level the field at the most crucial times.
The Wii U might not have set the world on fire since its late 2012 introduction, especially in comparison to the wildly successful Wii of 2006 -- 3.45m Wii U units were sold in its first four months, compared to the Wii's 5.8m.
But Nintendo's penchant for polished, internally developed, brand-name games that feature cherished characters, coupled with the console's cheaper price against upcoming Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launches, could yet win it a neat slice of new admirers.