Hideki Konno has confirmed that the blue shell will return in Mario Kart 8. The divisive power-up didn't feature in the E3 2013 demo but the Mario Kart producer said that Nintendo are still thinking about what they're going to do with the item.
"It's not in the demo out there, but it will be in the final version of the game," Konno told MTV.
The blue shell attacks the player in first position, homing in on the racer and sending them flying. It's an item that's useful for newcomers who struggle to compete but skilled players can find it frustrating when they've raced a perfect lap and are knocked out on the line through no fault of their own.
Explaining the value of the blue shell, Konno said: "One of the things that we always think about when making a Mario Kart game is the replay value for the customer. When we made that game, we thought it added something to that value, for people to play over and over again. When you just want to play one more game, one more match.
"So actually the original idea, that we had back in Mario Kart 64 where we hit upon this idea for a Blue Shell weapon, was that it would enable even whoever was in the back of the pack to still want to continue the race, to still want to keep going. Something that would allow them to still have that feeling.
"The first one we made would go straight up the middle of the course, so anyone that was in the way would get damaged as it flew. Then we changed it to the one that flies over and hits that person in first place, and you know, takes them out of their game a little bit. Every time we make a new game we want to challenge ourselves to adjust it a little bit, with something new.
"We're always having this battle of whose side do we take? The person in the back obviously they want something that hits, because that's their chance to influence the game. The person in first, of course, wants to have some kind of chance to get out of the way. That's always something that the designers have to think about, and make small adjustments to figure out the best thing for that particular game.
"That's part of the reason about why it's not out on the floor, because we're still thinking about that balance and what we're going to do with the blue shell."
Do you have any ideas for how the blue shell should be used in Mario Kart 8?