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Nintendo's Fils-Aime: Mario Kart 8 had a 'significant impact' on Wii U sales

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The release of Mario Kart 8 had a "significant impact" on Wii U console sales, Nintendo of America's Reggie Fils-Aime told Polygon.

Nintendo's Wii U, released in November, 2012, topped six million in sales through the end of March, according to the company's fiscal report.

Sales of the Wii U console quadrupled the week after the release of Mario Kart 8, compared to the week prior, Fils-Aime said.

More impressive still, 18 percent of all Wii U console owners purchased a copy of Mario Kart 8 in that first weekend, compared to between two and seven percent for previous versions of the game during their weekend releases.

Mario Kart 8 is viewed as a system seller by so many because of the incredible popularity of the game. Combined, all previous versions of the game have sold more than 100 million copies.

Nintendo declined to release any hard numbers for that increase in console sales, but Fils-Aime said the impact of Mario Kart 8 on console sales will likely be felt through the year.

"It's one of the things I have to do with certain media, remind them, look, for us, the drive toward the holiday began a couple of weeks ago with Mario Kart 8," he said. "And that's off to a fantastic start. For us, on a global basis, and certainly here in the United States, it's driving hardware, which is great to see."