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Players Report Problems With 'Mario Kart 8 Deluxe' Multiplayer

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe might be a victim of its own success. Nintendo announced earlier today that it sold more than 459,000 copies of the game on its launch day, making it the fastest-selling Mario Kart game in history. But that popularity might come at a cost: Many players have taken to Reddit and other forums to complain about the game's online multiplayer. That's bad news for both Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and the Nintendo Switch.

We've noticed connectivity issues ourselves. The most common are a notification in the game's multiplayer lobby that "a communication error has occurred," a bug that makes the same items appear many times in a row, and abrupt changes in other players' locations. These issues have occurred several times since the game's April 28 launch--and, at least in our experience, they appear to be getting worse instead of better.

Other players have complained about lag and issues with the game's hitboxes. This makes it hard to use items--many are based on hitting other players with projectiles--or play in the game's new Battle Mode. The latter is especially problematic because the new and improved Battle Mode is one of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's biggest changes from its Wii U predecessor, Mario Kart 8. It's not the only change--Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also includes new modes, extra characters, and all of the first game's downloadable content--but it's one of the best reasons to upgrade to the new release.

The issues also raise questions about the Switch's online service. Many of the console's games currently focus on single player campaigns or local multiplayer; Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the first big release to stress Nintendo's online capabilities. There was the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire in March, but that was expected to have problems. Many of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's players are unlikely to have those same expectations. After all, they paid a full $60 for a game with online multiplayer; it's not like they installed a free demo that was explicitly made to stress test Nintendo's servers ahead of a real launch.

There's also the question of how Nintendo plans to charge for an online service that can't handle a single (albeit quite popular) game. Nintendo hasn't revealed much about this service--much like how it hasn't shared details about the Virtual Console--but it has repeatedly said that the Switch's online features would be free only until Fall 2017. By then, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Arms, and Splatoon 2 will have all debuted with online components.

Here's what Nintendo said about its online service on its page for Arms:

Online play will be free for Nintendo Account holders until our paid online service launches in fall 2017. After the free-trial period, most games will require a paid online service subscription from Nintendo in order to play online. Currently, the free-trial period, the paid service, and online play (for applicable modes in compatible games) will be available for customers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

We also know that the online service will offer "exclusive deals," a free one-month download of an NES or SNES game, and access to a smartphone app used for team chats. That's about it. There's no information about how much it will cost, whether or not there will be dedicated servers for most games, or for how long a subscription will run. (Many services offer one-month, three-month, or 12-month memberships, for example.)

Problems like this can harm the service's public perception before it's even officially revealed. But it's worth noting two things: Many games suffer from online issues when they debut, and the people complaining on message boards could simply belong to a vocal minority. We reached out to Nintendo to learn more about what's causing these problems and how widespread they are and will update this post if the company responds.

  • turkey3_scratch
    I'm sure they just have to throw more servers at it and all will be dandy.
    Reply
  • bloodroses
    That might explain why Switches are sold out absolutely everywhere near me. Nintendo doesn't want too many people on yet since they know their servers aren't up to snuff... lol.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    Major AAA multiplayer release suffers Day One server issues. Also, a recent study suggests that water is wet. News at 11.
    Reply
  • derekullo
    So technically we are beta testing Nintendo's online service so they can turn around and charge us for it when they finally get it right?

    Game link cables are suddenly looking much more appealing.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_Link_Cable

    I would imagine most parents and for that matter most people don't like purchasing services with monthly fees.

    $10 a month for Xbox Gold
    $10 a month for PlayStation Plus
    $3-$5 a month for Nintendo "Something Something Pay Us Money"

    Prices really start adding up and thats if you only own 1 device.

    Buy each kid a switch and of course your monthly bill doubles if you expect them to be able to play against each other.

    Gamespy was free and match-making is really all Nintendo is doing.

    It's only a matter if time till some one reverse engineers the service and starts their own private service for themself and friends.

    I'm assuming the service only acts as a virtual router of sorts making sure each person has a connection to each other.

    An i5 should easily be able to handle 4-8 people for this kind of task in a local environment.
    Reply
  • kenjitamura
    19635119 said:
    So technically we are beta testing Nintendo's online service so they can turn around and charge us for it when they finally get it right?

    Game link cables are suddenly looking much more appealing.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_Link_Cable

    I would imagine most parents and for that matter most people don't like purchasing services with monthly fees.

    $10 a month for Xbox Gold
    $10 a month for PlayStation Plus
    $3-$5 a month for Nintendo "Something Something Pay Us Money"

    Prices really start adding up and thats if you only own 1 device.

    Buy each kid a switch and of course your monthly bill doubles if you expect them to be able to play against each other.

    Gamespy was free and match-making is really all Nintendo is doing.

    It's only a matter if time till some one reverse engineers the service and starts their own private service for themself and friends.

    I'm assuming the service only acts as a virtual router of sorts making sure each person has a connection to each other.

    An i5 should easily be able to handle 4-8 people for this kind of task in a local environment.

    Ah, console woes. Where every game is $60 and then you have to pay a subscription to play those games online. It kind of feels like being in a first world country and looking at the problems in a second world country. #PCMasterRace #1stTrollClaimed

    Reply
  • dstarr3
    It's funny. Console gaming always used to be inexpensive and hassle-free, at least compared to PC gaming. But these days, PC gaming is getting cheaper and cheaper while console gaming is getting more and more expensive, and PC games are getting more and more stable while console games are getting less and less.

    The days of "buy a box, plug it into your TV, plug in the cartridge and go" are long, long gone.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    19635342 said:
    It's funny. Console gaming always used to be inexpensive and hassle-free, at least compared to PC gaming. But these days, PC gaming is getting cheaper and cheaper while console gaming is getting more and more expensive, and PC games are getting more and more stable while console games are getting less and less.

    The days of "buy a box, plug it into your TV, plug in the cartridge and go" are long, long gone.

    Not really the Switch runs cartridges without having to install them like Xbox One and PS4, and it's not rocket science to connect it to the TV.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    19635356 said:
    19635342 said:
    It's funny. Console gaming always used to be inexpensive and hassle-free, at least compared to PC gaming. But these days, PC gaming is getting cheaper and cheaper while console gaming is getting more and more expensive, and PC games are getting more and more stable while console games are getting less and less.

    The days of "buy a box, plug it into your TV, plug in the cartridge and go" are long, long gone.

    Not really the Switch runs cartridges without having to install them like Xbox One and PS4, and it's not rocket science to connect it to the TV.

    Just wait until updates start kicking in and you have to spend two hours updating the console and the game every time you turn the thing on before you can actually play a thing.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    19635361 said:
    19635356 said:
    19635342 said:
    It's funny. Console gaming always used to be inexpensive and hassle-free, at least compared to PC gaming. But these days, PC gaming is getting cheaper and cheaper while console gaming is getting more and more expensive, and PC games are getting more and more stable while console games are getting less and less.

    The days of "buy a box, plug it into your TV, plug in the cartridge and go" are long, long gone.

    Not really the Switch runs cartridges without having to install them like Xbox One and PS4, and it's not rocket science to connect it to the TV.

    Just wait until updates start kicking in and you have to spend two hours updating the console and the game every time you turn the thing on before you can actually play a thing.

    PC games have updates the same way, and you're just making exaggerations to fit your agenda now.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    19635369 said:
    19635361 said:
    19635356 said:
    19635342 said:
    It's funny. Console gaming always used to be inexpensive and hassle-free, at least compared to PC gaming. But these days, PC gaming is getting cheaper and cheaper while console gaming is getting more and more expensive, and PC games are getting more and more stable while console games are getting less and less.

    The days of "buy a box, plug it into your TV, plug in the cartridge and go" are long, long gone.

    Not really the Switch runs cartridges without having to install them like Xbox One and PS4, and it's not rocket science to connect it to the TV.

    Just wait until updates start kicking in and you have to spend two hours updating the console and the game every time you turn the thing on before you can actually play a thing.

    PC games have updates the same way, and you're just making exaggerations to fit your agenda now.

    Except it takes me twenty seconds to update because PC servers can fully saturate my bandwidth. Whereas every single time I start up my PS4, it crawls at <1MB/s because Sony's servers are underequipped and it takes an eternity for me to get into a game, which then needs to update for another eternity.
    Reply