Since it was launched in the VR Zone in Shinjuku, Tokyo and subsequently in the UK, American fans of Mario Kart have been hoping that the virtual reality (VR) version of the popular racer would make it over to the USA in some form. Now it seems that hope was not in vain, as Bandai Namco launch a Mario Kart VR at the VR Zone Portal in Washington D.C.
Visitors to the VR Zone Portal in Union Station, Washington D.C. will now be able to hop into one of the specially designed karts to race as either Mario, Luigi, Peach or Yoshi. The Mario Kart Arcade GP VR experience will be located in Union Station for a six-month period. Argyle Shift, and Ski Rodeo will be joining the VR version of Nintendo’s popular kart racer,
The Mario Kart VR experience uses the HTC Vive VR headset along with the Vive Trackers which allow players to reach up and grab items such as banana skins or green shells to throw at opponents and potentially gain an advantage. Mario Kart VR also comes equipped with haptic feedback to make players more immersed in the colourful world they are driving in.
“BANDAI NAMCO is thrilled to be a part of the innovative, cutting-edge project that is VR ZONE Portal.” Said Steve Ignarski, National Sales Manager for BANDAI NAMCO Amusement America. “The launches in Japan and the UK 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 game-play and outstanding equipment from HTC Vive.”
Some of the VRFocus team got to go hands-on with Mario Kart VR in London, where their finding were reported on in a VLOG. Recently Bandai Namco also announced that Mario Kart VR would be coming to other VR Zone locations across the UK.
Argyle Shift meanwhile is a familiar title for those following the VR Zone story, a single-player videogame in which you take on the roll of a robot test pilot in the year 2145. Do you have the skills to pilot a giant mecha? Ski Rodeo meanwhile sets you down a snowy mountain range. Be prepared to get into the groove with your movements with the title’s pivoting base as you ski at high speed down the slopes “creating an exciting atmosphere like no other” according to Bandai Namco..
For further coverage of Mario Kart VR and other VR projects, keep checking back with VRFocus.