New Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Uses Augmented Reality to Race Inside Your Home

Watch out for banana peels—real and virtual ones.

via YouTube

Hardcore racing games like Gran Turismo or F1 2020 are cool and all, but there's only one racing game the entire family can enjoy: Mario Kart. Now, Nintendo is taking the game one step beyond the tv screen and moving the race directly to your home—literally.

During a Nintendo Direct broadcast on Thursday, the video game maker celebrated the 35th birthday of everyone's favorite plumber by announcing several new Mario-themed video games, one of which is a fresh installment of the Kart franchise called Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. This isn't just any old remake with sharper graphics and new sound effects, however, Nintendo actually worked with New York-based Velan Studios to develop a whole new way to play Mario Kart using augmented reality.

Here's how it works: players will use their Nintendo Switch to pilot a physical kart around their home and set up various gate markers to highlight areas that will become the track, and customize the precise layout by driving the tiny car around. Once complete, the actual racing is controlled on the Switch and takes place on the track laid out during the preparation phase.

The game will also add in various power-ups and traps just like in the traditional game, and Nintendo says that the physical cart will respond to them accordingly (including stopping if the player accidentally crashes into an obstruction).

Being different has always allowed Nintendo to be more hands-on when it comes to its products. Before the company found life in producing hit game titles, it was first a humble toy maker. This has always been evident in the way that the company has encouraged physical interaction with its products—from R.O.B. the robotic operating buddy and the Zapper from Duck Hunt, all the way to more modern examples where its consoles are handheld, interactive, or some kind of motion controlled.

This game in particular takes it a step further and actually allows the game to interact with the physical world beyond the TV screen.

Home Circuit is set to launch on Oct. 16 and will available to purchase in both Mario and Luigi variants. And to all the parents out there looking to grab a copy for their kids this holiday season, be sure to remember that each player will need their own console and kart for multiplayer races.

Mom, if you're reading this, I'll take the Mercedes-Benz version.

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