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Super Mario 35th anniversary: Mario battle royale, Mario Kart AR, and more


Super Mario Bros. launched 35 years ago, and Nintendo wants to celebrate this milestone. The company revealed a number of announcements today to celebrate the plumber’s oncoming midlife crisis. This includes games like Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Super Mario 3D World Deluxe, but Nintendo didn’t stop with those.

In addition to major Switch releases, Nintendo is also bringing the original Super Mario All-Stars to Nintendo Switch Online. This will enable you to play that Super Nintendo compilation on the go. The publisher is also working with a variety of partners on licensed products. These include shoes from Puma and gamepads from peripheral manufacturers.

One of the more interesting announcements is Super Mario Bros. 35. This is a Mario battle royale game that has players competing against other Marios to see who can live the longest. The game brings in elements of Tetris 99, including the option to send attacks against other opponents. And like Tetris 99, Super Mario 35 is an exclusive for the Nintendo Switch Online service. That subscription program is $20 per year.

Nintendo is also licensing more toys.

The highlight of these is a remote-control augmented reality Mario Kart toy line with built-in cameras called Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. The company showed off Mario and Luigi karts that use the Switch to see obstacles, the course outline, and more, as you play. I want one … y’know, for my kids.

Velan Studios, a developer comprised of industry veterans, created the AR-racing tech that powers Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. This uses an onboard camera that detects track markers that players can place in the world. Using these markers, families can design their own courses however they want.

“We invented the initial mixed reality hardware and game prototype to really nail the exhilaration of racing in the real world with the play and feel of a video game,” Velan chief executive Karthik Bala said. “We showed the experience to Nintendo and were thrilled they saw its potential. That started a wonderful multi-year creative collaboration, which became Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. We can’t wait to see the creative ways fans play when they race around their own creations as Mario and Luigi.”

Update 1:29 p.m. with Velan, the company that Nintendo is working and is helping to develop the Mario Kart Live tech, and that it uses the Switch, not the Switch and a phone. 

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