New Mario Kart 8 courses go live today: FREE with a Switch Online sub + more details

New Mario Kart courses

Update 3/18: Wave 1 of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass is now live starting today! All of the details you need on how to access them can be found below and on this Nintendo landing page

Nintendo made some major announcements during yesterday’s Direct showcase, not the least of which were the 48 new Mario Kart courses coming to the latest iteration of its beloved kart racer. New FREE Metroid DLC, Earthbound coming to Switch Online, the new Mario Strikers Battle League, and the upcoming Switch Sports were all exciting to say the least, but Nintendo also announced a sizable new injection of content with the new Mario Kart courses that will run right through until the end of 2023. So it’s time to dive into the details, what this might mean for the rumored Mario Kart 9, and how to get the new Mario Kart courses to upgrade your existing Switch kart racing experience. Head below for a closer look.

New Mario Kart courses inbound

While a new Mario Kart game is rumored to be in the works, Nintendo is looking to inject some excitement into the now aging Mario Kart 8 Deluxe title with a series of new courses. Announced during yesterday’s Direct, Nintendo is remastering 48 previous-generation race tracks and bringing them to its latest release over the next couple years in waves. 

Featuring 48 remastered courses from throughout the Mario Kart series to be released over six waves, burn rubber with the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass paid DLC!

The new Mario Kart courses include Paris Promenade and Tokyo Blur from the Mario Kart Tour game alongside the N64 Choco Mountain and Wii Coconut Mall. 

The first wave is now available for pre-order and will be releasing on March 18, 2022. You can opt in to the pre-sale via the Nintendo eShop at $24.99 for the first eight courses, but, in a likely bittersweet move, Nintendo is also offering the first wave (and presumably the rest of the them) for FREE as part of its new Switch Online Expansion Pack. The upgraded tier runs $50 a year, by comparison to the standard $20 option, but it does now include the first wave Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass, which may or may not entice some folks to finally jump in alongside the N64 and SEGA library of games.

The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass will be available at no additional cost for players with a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership, or as an individual purchase.

While this news might not be ideal for some folks who were a bit salty regarding the up-charge on the expansion tier, it is nice to see Nintendo continue to support the now over five-year-old title. What this means for Mario Kart 9 is unclear, but it could very well suggest that Nintendo doesn’t plan to bring it out any time soon, and potentially not before 2024. 

And more…

Beyond the new Mario Kart courses, let’s take a quick look at some of the other highlights from the Nintendo Direct reveals:

A FREE, now available update is here for Metroid Dread. The Dread mode difficulty puts Samus down in just one hit, and there’s now a sort of rookie mode that nerfs the experience for less battle-hardened gamers as well:

In the brutal Dread Mode difficulty, all it takes is one hit to cause a game over. Are you ready for the challenge? For players new to the series, Rookie Mode allows for increased recovery and less damage from bosses. The free update is available now!

There will also be a second free update arriving in April, which includes a novel Boss Rush mode too. 

Earthbound has arrived alongside Earthbound Beginnings on Nintendo Switch Online. The fan-favorite Super NES classic EarthBound and EarthBound Beginnings – a localized version of the Famicom Mother title – are now live on Nintendo Online service with no Expansion Pack needed!

And here are some of the notable titles from the latest Direct now up for pre-order. Just be sure to head over to this morning’s game roundup for more first-party Switch games marked down to $40 including Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Splatoon 2, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, Kirby Star Allies, Pikmin 3 Deluxe, and much more.

  • Mario Strikers Battle League $60
  • Nintendo Switch Sports $60
  • Splatoon 3 $60
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land $60
  • Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp $60
  • Fire Emblem Warriors Three Hopes $60
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3 $60
  • Live A Live $60
  • And even more

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