In perhaps the most surprising announcement from Nintendo’s Thursday Mario Direct presentation, the Japanese gaming giant revealed it’s bringing the Mario Kart series to the real world through augmented reality (AR).
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, set to be released on October 16th for $129 CAD, is part video game and part toy, similar to Nintendo’s cardboard Labo kits.
Developed through a partnership with New York-based company Velan Studios, Home Circuit has players setting up courses with special gates in the real world. These gates then create a virtual race track players experience in augmented reality and actual physical space in the real world.
While Nintendo’s press release is a little confusing, players seem to be able to control their real-world kart through in-game actions.
Home Circuit also supports multiplayer for up to four players, though the game’s press release mentions this requires “additional games, systems and karts.”
The game’s trailer shows a child playing Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit on the Nintendo Switch as a toy version of Mario and his kart races in the real-world living room.
Home Circuit joins Nintendo’s recently released Super Mario Bros. Lego sets that also blend physical toys with a more traditional video game experience.