First things first, let’s watch the GIF that made Mario Kart VR a viral hit overnight.
Yeah, that looks pretty damn amazing. So what is it, how much, and when can you get it? Let’s take a look!
Mario Kart VR
Nintendo is famous for keeping their original IP’s restricted to their hardware only, so I was skeptical at first. Digging deeper though, this is a 100% Nintendo licensed Mario Kart game. Development was done by Bandai Namco Entertainment, which according to Mario Wiki, has also developed plenty of other Mario related games for Nintendo.
What Is It?
Mario Kart VR is exclusively available at VR Zone, a virtual reality attraction located in Japan. For about $40 USD you have access to 4 different games based on the ticket you buy. Based on the GIF above and other videos on YouTube, it appears to be running on a PC with the HTC Vive headset. For an added level of immersion, each hand has one of their Vive Trackers attached so you can reach around in the environment and grab power ups.
As mentioned above, a ticket to VR Zone to play Mario Kart VR and 3 other games will run you roughly $40 USD. But how much would it cost to have the same setup at home? We will probably never know the MSRP of the actual arcade game, but we can speculate a consumer version! Let’s break it down:
- High End Gaming PC – $1,700 (thanks GPU miners -_-)
- HTC Vive + Trackers x2 – $999
- Racing cockpit with motion – $2,391
- Copy of Mario Kart VR – $59.99 (probably)
- Total – $5,149.00
So just north of $5K you could have a pretty similar experience. I had to guess on the racing cockpit with motion as it’s had to tell what features the Mario version has.
When Can I Have It?
Probably never. It’s unlikely Nintendo would release this as a PC game to avoid setting the precedent. Their bottom line lives or dies with consumers buying new hardware, and people flock to the stores on launch day to play the new Mario, Zelda, etc.
However…I wouldn’t put it past some very talented programmers to make their own version at some point. We have already seen what Mario could look like on the Unreal engine thanks to them, so fingers crossed!