The Mario franchise is one of the most recognisable in the world, dating back to some of the earliest days of videogames. It has spawned innumerable sequels and spin-offs, including the Mario Kart series. Little wonder, then, that there was great excitement when it was revealed that a virtual reality (VR) version was heading to London. Now it seems more of the UK might get a chance to hurl red shells and bananas at karting opponents.
Nina Salomons of VRFocus spoke to the VR Project Manager at Bandai Namco about Mario Kart VR, and what plans the company has with regards to bringing the title to more parts of the UK.
The Mario Kart VR experience is currently available at the VR Zone at the Hollywood Bowl in London, after experiencing massive success in its home country of Japan. It is a 2-4 player VR experience which uses motion-based VR to immerse players in the colourful world of Mario Kart.
The experience uses a mix of different tracks from the Mario Kart series. Players are equipped not only with VR headsets, but also with HTC Vive trackers strapped to the hands, this allows players to take a hand off the steering wheel in order to reach out and grab items such as green shells or bananas which are attached to balloons scattered around the track, which can then be thrown at opponents.
Players can choose between Yoshi, Peach, Mario and Luigi. Four players can play for £24.99 (GBP) for a single play session.
There are plans to expand Mario Kart to other locations in the UK, with the VR Zone at Tunbridge Wells already set to get the Mario Kart VR experience later this year, with another planned for Leeds Hollywood Bowl. Further expansion is planned for Europe and the USA.
The video interview is available to view below. Further coverage on new and upcoming VR projects will be here on VRFocus.