Nintendo is renowned for its ability to innovate in unexpected ways. He proved it once again on September 3 with the announcement of Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, a game for the Nintendo Switch that mixes remote-controlled cars and augmented reality. Developed in partnership with Velan Studios, the game turns a room in the house into a racing circuit while retaining classic gameplay elements from the Mario Kart series.
Transform your living room into a racing circuit
Sold for 99.99 euros with a release scheduled for October 16, it includes a kart, four gantries, two arrow markers, and a charging cable. Two versions of the kart are available: one with Mario, the other with Luigi. The kart is equipped with a camera and is controlled using the Switch, the player enjoying in this way a first person view.
The environment is then embellished with virtual elements typical of Mario Kart: the competitors of course (embodied by Bowser’s brats), but also the bonuses (shells, banana peels, mushrooms) which can turn the course of a match. . The fusion of the real and the virtual means that physical karts accelerate, slow down, or even come to a standstill depending on these interactions.
Up to four local players
The players will create their own circuit by placing four gates at strategic points in the playing area, then passing the kart through each of them. Many different paths can be defined in this way. The game then generates a grand prize of eight races in which the player can compete against the console. It is also possible to play in local multiplayer for up to four people, as long as each player brings back his console and his kart.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit represents Nintendo’s new experimentation in immersive technologies, following the Nintendo Labo virtual reality kit released last year. It is a continuation of its innovation strategy, embodied among others by the controllers of the Wii or the hybrid format of the Switch. The Japanese was also a pioneer of virtual reality with his Virtual Boy console, released in the mid-90s and which was a commercial failure.