Bandai Namco is opening a virtual reality arcade in Tokyo that will feature a surprise appearance from Nintendo's classic kart-racing series, Mario Kart. Dubbed Mario Kart Arcade GP, the virtual reality title will utilise HTC Vive headsets, steering wheels and pedals.
The game was revealed in a new trailer for the exhibit, which is opening in the Japaneses capital tomorrow (14 June). Bandai Namco claims the arcade offers an "unprecedented and overwhelming sense of immersion and realness with cutting-edge VR technology and exclusively developed sensory machines."
The trailer (embedded below) shows a group of four zipping around a Mario Kart track with the players racing from a first person view.
Mushroom Kingdom kart-racing regulars like Bowser, Luigi and Wario appear in the footage, and presumably Mario himself is in there somewhere.
Mario Kart weapons like green shells also appear, which players can physically throw at other racers thanks to a pair of Vive Tracker motion sensors fitted with wrist-straps.
It's unclear whether Nintendo has any involvement in the game's development, or simply licensed the brand for the VR arcade.
A blurb for the game confirms that it is a new version of the existing Mario Kart Arcade GP series, which is developed by Bandai Namco and has graced arcade cabinets in the region since 2005. Regardless, the game marks Nintendo's first official foray into the modern world of virtual reality.
Mario Kart is joined in the VR Zone by a number of virtual reality experiences, including one based on the Dragon Ball franchise and another based on cyberpunk manga series Ghost in the Shell, in which eight players duke it out in a 4 vs 4 team battle with virtual guns.
While it's easy to feel a tad envious of Tokyo locals and tourists who will get to play Mario Kart in VR, we can't complain too much considering Nintendo Switch owners around the world were recently treated to the ultimate version of the best game in the series, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.