For some time, Mario Kart has famously been playable in virtual reality, which you can do at the VR Zone, in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Now, Nintendo’s long-running racing series is getting the augmented reality treatment. Announced today during a Mario-themed video presentation, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit will bring Mario Kart to the entire living room.
It sounds strange, but it’s rather brilliant. You use your Switch to pilot a physical cart—sorry, kart—equipped with camera. To set up a course, you place various gate markers, and can customize track layouts as you see fit. Your kart will respond to in-game boosts, too. But don’t worry: If and when you drive into a real-world object, your kart will stop in its tracks. Just be careful walking around when the game’s set up. If you think stepping on a Lego hurts...
Like all Mario Kart games before it, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit will feature a four-player local multiplayer mode. The catch? Each player needs their own system and kart.
Also of note is that the game is being developed by Velan Studios, a New York-based team, that is working with Nintendo on the project. It’s extremely unusual to see Nintendo let an outside studio, especially one from the West, work on one of their main series.
As for the game, see it all in action below. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit comes out for Nintendo Switch on October 16 and will be available in either a Mario set or a far more suave Luigi set. Let’s hear it for the L-man!