‘Mario Kart VR’ Is Coming Stateside

So in case you missed it, Mario Kart VR is a thing, an attraction that’s been getting huge attention in Japan and Europe over the past year. And, of course, we’ve talked about it. But it sounds like it won’t be long before you get an opportunity to take it for a spin for yourself.

In partnership with Bandai Namco, HTC has announced that it will bring the interactive Mario Kart game to the VR Zone Portal in Washington, D.C., with possible other locations to follow after its initial test.

In the game, up to four players can take part in a virtual race, taking on Mario, Luigi, Peach and Yoshi, among other competitors, in an effort to get a first place victory. The game not only features “industry-leading graphics” that eclipse the best-selling Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but also introduce a new level of interactivity, as you can literally pick up and throw power-ups this time, instead of simply pressing a button to launch them.

Bandai Namco’s US rep Steve Ignarski noted, “The launches in Japan and the U.K. brought great success, and we hope to follow suit in Washington, D.C. Mario Kart VR is a long-awaited title, and we have no doubt it will be well-received in the states, due to its incredible, immersive gameplay and outstanding equipment from HTC Vive.”

Further distribution outside of D.C. isn’t planned at the moment, but we would not be surprised if someone like Dave and Buster’s stepped up to give it exposure in all its locations. After all, a Mario Kart ride such as this would make mad money between young players and die-hard fans stepping up to throw turtle shells at one another.

A release date for the Mario Kart game hasn’t been provided just yet, but it’s expected to arrive in the VR Zone Portal later this year, with further expansion plans to be announced in 2019. Based on what we’ve seen from the game’s trailers, we can’t wait to see more of it in action -- or, better yet, battle it out with a team of our writers. Dibs on Mario! (Sorry, Luigi.)

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We’ll let you know what other announcements Bandai Namco makes about the game. But this is definitely a great start.

(Hat tip to VentureBeat for the scoop!)