Forget about Nintendo’s attempt at virtual reality (VR) with the Labo VR Kit for Switch. If you really want to enjoy one of its iconic videogames in VR then Mario Kart Arcade VR is the experience of choice. The only problem, there aren’t many locations to play it. This month that gets a little easier for US residents with the videogame racing to its second location at K1 Speed in Irvine, California.
K1 Speed is a family entertainment centre that features go-karts, with up to four players able to race on Mario Kart Arcade GP VR at once. With specially designed karts and HTC Vive headsets, guests can race through the Mushroom Kingdom as either Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Yoshi, picking up green shells and bananas which can be physically thrown thanks to Vive Tracker technology.
“We at BANDAI NAMCO Amusement America are incredibly excited to bring Mario Kart Arcade GP VR to more locations across the states,” said Nick Iftner, Virtual Reality Sales Manager at BANDAI NAMCO Amusement America in a statement. “The first location in the states in Washington D.C. proved to be a hit, and we’re eager to bring it to the West coast where we believe many are waiting to try it. We are confident that VR ZONE Portal Irvine will be a huge success at the Irvine location.”
The experience will only be the four in the world, with the original opening in 2017 at the VR Zone Shinjuku, Japan followed by London, UK. Mario Kart Arcade GP VR then made it to the US in 2018, opening at the VR Zone Portal in Union Station, Washington D.C. VRFocus went to the London opening, capturing footage of the arcade in action.
“We cannot wait to have VR ZONE Portal Irvine with Mario Kart Arcade GP VR inside our Irvine location,” adds Susan Danglard, Owner and Marketing Director of K1 Speed. “This cutting-edge virtual reality experience is the perfect complement to our premium indoor kart racing experience. Visitors will get to physically race go-karts on our track and then virtually race at Mushroom Kingdom – we know this will be incredibly popular with people of all ages in Southern California.”
The Mario Kart Arcade GP VR will be available at VR ZONE Portal Irvine from 12th June. For further updates on the VR experience, keep reading VRFocus.