The latest update for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe adds five new blank slots on the character selection screen.
The most notable addition in Version 2.3.0, which is now available for download, is support for Wave 4 of its Booster Course Pass DLC, which adds eight more courses to the game.
The DLC also adds Birdo to the roster, making it the first Wave to add a new character instead of just new tracks.
However, rather than reorganising the character select screen in a way that adds Birdo cleanly, the game has also now added five ‘?’ spaces.
The new gaps in the character select screen, then, suggest that at least five new characters are coming, with only two Waves of DLC remaining.
As well as the addition of Birdo and the new character select slots, Japanese Mario Kart tournament website Mario Kart Blog has noted that some of the characters’ stats have been upgraded in the new update.
According to the site, every character except for the ‘Metal’, ‘Cruiser’, ‘Heavy’ and ‘Super Heavy’ classes have had their ground, water, air, and anti-gravity speed stats increased by one point.
This means the only characters whose stats haven’t been increased are Metal Mario, Pink Gold Peach, Waluigi, Donkey Kong, Roy, Wario, Dry Bowser, Bowser and Morton.
Some of the lighter characters have also had their mini-turbo stats boosted slightly. These changes appear to be an attempt to balance the game more, as many expert players tend to choose heavier characters since their much higher top speed makes up for their slow acceleration.
As well as Birdo, Wave 4 of the Booster Course Pass DLC adds two new Cups and eight new courses.
The Fruit Cup includes Amsterdam Drift from Mario Kart Tour, Riverside Park from Mario Kart Super Circuit, DK Summit from Mario Kart Wii, and an original course set in Yoshi’s Island.
Meanwhile, the Boomerang Cup includes Bangkok Rush from Mario Kart Tour, Mario Circuit from Mario Kart DS, Waluigi Stadium from Mario Kart Double Dash and Singapore Speedway from Mario Kart Tour.