Later this year, Nintendo and Bandai-Namco will release a new Mario Kart game, Mario Kart Arcade GP GX, in arcades across Japan. Today at the JAEPO arcade game expo, Kotaku East was able to get some hands-on time with the game.

Mario Kart Arcade GP GX will feature at least one new character (Don from Taiko Drum Master) and a new course (also based on that game) in addition to tracks and characters from the other Mario Kart arcades. The game will also have other new content added via internet updates after the game's launch.

While the standard racing mode you know and love from past Mario Kart games returns as expected, the most interesting aspect of this new game is it's co-op racing mode. However, this is far different from the co-op racing in Mario Kart: Double Dash.

After choosing the co-op mode, you and your partner race regularly in your own carts. Eventually, however, one of you will pick up the tank powerup which will combine the two of you in to a giant Mario Kart tank when activated. In this mode, one person will continue to drive the tank while the second controls a turret capable of firing infinite green shells at the other racers.

To see this "Mario Tank" in action check out the video above.

Mario Kart Arcade GP GX will be released in Japanese arcades this summer. Bandai-Namco representatives have informed Kotaku East that they have not yet decided on an international release, one way or the other.