In a recent interview Nintendo revealed that the reason why the blue shell wasn’t available in the E3 demo of Mario Kart 8 is because the development team is tweaking it.
They know that some people miss the days when the blue shell hit everyone in its path while some wish it would not hurt the second place driver if they’re close to the person in first place. Nintendo is listening and wants fan feedback on the blue shell. It will stay in the game but they are going to alter it, saying:
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. We’d like your opinion actually, what you’re idea would be to have that thing go at you.
Hopefully Nintendo gets the blue shell right. Personally I’m a fan of having it hit everyone a la Mario Kart 64. I would also like more ways to avoid the blue shell if I’m in first place too.
That said, no one should be expecting the blue shell to magically disappear from the series. So long as Nintendo re-balances it everything should be fine. How do you want the blue shell to be changed in Mario Kart 8?