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There were a few obvious predictions we could have expected from yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, but no one saw this coming. Right after knocking our socks off with their plethora of Smash Bros. news, Nintendo revealed an all new difficulty setting is coming to Mario Kart 8.

All these years we’ve been content with just tackling 150cc and then moving on to conquer Mirror Mode. Now we know those were just for practice. A 200cc difficulty setting is coming to Mario Kart 8. Nintendo’s President and CEO, Saturo Iwata, delivered the news himself at the end of the recent Nintendo Direct.

On April 23rd Nintendo will release a free update for Mario Kart 8 which includes the 200cc mode. Iwata warns that “because it’s so fast, you have to have good breaking skills around tight corners. It’s Mario Kart like you’ve never experienced it before. This not only applies to the new downloadable courses, every course in the game will offer a 200cc class in local and online play.”

Mario Kart 8 200cc Menu

However, the 200cc class isn’t the only thing included in the April 23rd update…

Saturo Iwata prefaced the 200cc announcement by showcasing the Mario Kart 8 x Animal Crossing DLC many Kart players have been waiting for. Iwata was pleased to announce to fans that the Animal Crossing update would be heading our way earlier than expected. The DLC features three new characters in Isabelle, Villager (male and female) and Dry Bowser. It will also include 4 new vehicles and 8 new tracks within the Crossing and Bell Cups. The new content will list at $7.99 unless you’ve already snagged it at its promotional price.

Animal Crossing Mario Kart 8 DLC

Mr. Iwata showed off a bit of the upcoming Animal Crossing track that is included. Mr. Resetti pops up in the middle of the course to wreck havoc. He’s sure to be thrilled when your kart plows into him. Much like the Excitebike track in The Legend of Zelda DLC, this track has a fun gimmick too. Iwata says that “on this course the seasons change each time you race: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Much like in Animal Crossing games, you can bask in the variety of seasonal vistas.”

Nintendo’s President then moved on to new Amiibo suits. Mega Man, PAC-MAN, Sonic, Toad, Wario, Village, Rosalina, Bowser and Olimar are all getting Mario Kart recognition. Purchase the character’s corresponding Amiibo from the Smash Bros. or Mario Party sets and you’ll unlock a new costume for your Mii characters to don during races.

All this content becomes available in just a few weeks on April 23rd. You can check out the 200cc trailer below. Ladies and gentlemen, restart your engines…

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Growing up a 90's kid, Jeff found his love for gaming during Nintendo's heyday. Because of that, you could call him a "Nintendo Fanboy" (albeit a rational one) to this day. Outside of his passion for the gaming industry, he’s also an avid sports enthusiast (New York Giants and Philadelphia Phillies mainly) and enjoys quality/popular TV shows and movies.