Mario, Priestly Tout Nintendo

NEW YORK Mario hasn’t got his hack license, but he will treat unsuspecting New Yorkers to a free cab ride tomorrow.

The popular video game character will be hailing cabs for midtown Manhattan commuters in the morning and during lunch to promote the launch of the Mario Kart Wii racing game. The costumed character will appear near the Sheraton Hotel on Seventh Avenue and 52nd Street.

Jason Priestly, best known for Beverly Hills 90210, will then join the promotional efforts on Saturday, appearing at the Nintendo World store in Rockefeller Plaza to test drive the new title.

Priestly, who co-owns the Rubicon Race Team, is a former driver and race analyst. He will be on hand to try out the new Wii Wheel accessory used for Mario Kart Wii. The game hits shelves this Sunday.

Nintendo Wii recently concluded another strong month. In March, it finished with the top hardware and top game, per the NDP Group, Port Washington, N.Y.

More than 720,000 Wii systems were sold in March, representing the highest monthly sales total to date (outside of November and December).

Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which launched March 9, was the No. 1 title with 2.7 million units sold.

“Nintendo systems represented 58 percent of all video game hardware sold in March in the United States,” Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s evp, sales and marketing, said in a statement. “We expect our momentum to continue with big upcoming game launches like Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit.”