Nintendo and Mario Kart Live Devs Open to More AR Projects

It looks like Nintendo’s recent AR endeavor may the first of many ambitious augmented reality projects.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit was released on October 16 for the Nintendo Switch and has received generally favorable reviews. This game which started development in mid-2017, comes with a simple Mario (or Luigi) RC car, armed with a special camera you will see through on your Nintendo Switch screen (or docked mode). You must also set up these included course gates to sync the technology. Your real-life house becomes a real Mario Kart race since you can now see your simple RC kart come to life and race AI-controlled Koopaling racers in various Super Mario environments. Both Nintendo and Velan Studios (the game’s developer) seem to be very proud of the technology as seen in a recent CNET interview.

According to the CEO of Velan, Karthik Bala: “The breakthrough technology is that we’ve fundamentally decoupled the camera and sensors from the host device (the Nintendo Switch system), which unlocks all sorts of new possibilities. It’s a rich new paradigm to explore in the future!” Nintendo seems to feel the same way since the game’s producer, Yosuke Tamori, went on to say: “I believe that in Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, it’s possible to see the Nintendo philosophy of developing new, unique integrated hardware-software entertainment.” It’s worth noting that Tamori started out as a graphic designer for the Zelda series becoming a communication manager on Nintendo Labo. It’s safe to say that he is open-minded to unorthodox hardware that no one would think would work.

This is also not Nintendo’s first AR endeavor as the Nintendo 3DS had a special built-in camera and launched with pre-installed AR mini-games which worked with special cards. Games like Kid Icarus Uprising and Bravely Default also had side-modes that took advantage of AR.

Which Nintendo franchises would you like to see have an augmented reality game on Nintendo Switch? Feel free to comment below!