First, it was Mario Run. Then Nintendo shifted gears with the Animal Crossing series and delivered Pocket Camp for iOS and Android devices. In the continuing wake of the success of both games, Nintendo revealed yesterday a third franchise that it would be bringing to a mobile platform.
In an unexpected tweet, Nintendo of America announced the development of Mario Kart Tour, a mobile spin-off of the highly successful Mario Kart console and handheld series. The announcement comes just over two weeks after the Nintendo Mini Direct, which was responsible for introducing gamers to a host of upcoming releases including Mario Tennis Aces and Hyrule Warriors Ultimate Edition. The tweet also confirms that the mobile Mario Kart will release during the “fiscal year ending in March 2019.”
Further details on Mario Kart Tour, including price, which Mario characters would be racers, and the potential for microtransactions has yet to be touched on, though it’s safe to assume new racers, tracks, and karts will be available for purchase.
The reveal of Mario Kart Tour was only one of three different announcements the Twitter account made on the last day of January. Just before showcasing Tour, the Twitter account also confirmed what many had been suspected for a while: a new Super Mario movie. Nintendo and Illumination, the studio behind Despicable Me and Sing, are working on a movie starring everyone’s favorite video game plumber. The film is in the early stages of production, but it’s clear it will be an animated film that sticks closer to the source material, ensuring to steer clear from the same mistakes made by the 1993 travesty.
Jan. 31, 2018 was a figurative Christmas for Nintendo fans as the Mario Kart Tour and the Mario movie announcements weren’t even the start of it. Kicking off the trio of announcements was Nintendo’s official release date for Nintendo Switch Online, the affordable platform that would allow players to connect in a multiplayer setting akin to Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network. According to the Nintendo of America Twitter, the online service will be launching in September of 2018.
Pricing for Nintendo Switch Online is incredibly low when compared to Xbox and PlayStation’s rates. One month of the online service will run $3.99 while a year will cost $19.99. One year for Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Network currently cost $59.99 each. Despite the lower cost, Nintendo Switch’s online service will offer a host of services including support for the Nintendo Switch Online app, online play, a robust selection of classic games, and exclusive eShop offers for subscribers.
2017 proved to be a good year for Nintendo and its latest console and if the latest trio of announcements is any indication, that success will carry over into 2018.