Here's the news we've all been waiting for: Mario Kart is coming to smartphones. Mario Kart Tour will be the first time a game from the series has appeared anywhere outside a Nintendo console or an arcade machine, as Nintendo continues to expand its lineup of smartphone games.

Despite being revealed in 2018, we don't know much about Mario Kart Tour just yet - but here's all the info we have so far.

When will Mario Kart Tour be released?

While Nintendo originally claimed that Mario Kart Tour would be released by March 2019 at the latest, the company has since confirmed that Mario Kart Tour has suffered a delay.

As revealed during Nintendo's quarterly earnings call, Mario Kart Tour has been delayed until Summer 2019 to "improve quality of the application and expand the content offerings after launch,". 

The good news for Android users - in the US and Japan anyway - is that a closed beta test is due to begin in May. Those interested in beta testing the upcoming racer should head to the Mario Kart Tour website to sign up, but be quick as sign-ups close on 7 May.

Successful applicants will then be able to play Mario Kart Tour on their Android devices between 22 May and 4 June 2019 ahead of global release later this year.  

Presumably, this will be Nintendo's next major mobile release, raising doubts about the rumours of a Zelda game for smartphones, but we can hope for both.

Which platforms will Mario Kart Tour be available on? 

Nintendo hasn't confirmed which platforms Mario Kart Tour will release on, so far describing it only as a 'new mobile application'.

While Super Mario Run initially launched as a timed iPhone exclusive, subsequent mobile games Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes have both been multiplatform from the start, so we'd expect the same from Mario Kart, with a simultaneous launch on both iOS and Android.

How much will Mario Kart Tour cost?

Again, we don't know. But we can guess.

While Super Mario Run experimented with giving away the first few levels for free and charging a one-time fee for the rest of the game, it's clear that as far as Nintendo is concerned the model didn't convert to as many sales as it hoped.

It's had much more success with Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem, both of which rely on micro-transactions, so there will almost certainly be more of the same here. Expect to pay extra to unlock certain characters, karts, or tracks - or at least to unlock them faster than you would through normal play.

Mario Kart Tour features and gameplay

So far, we have no idea, as Nintendo hasn't even released a screenshot, let alone a trailer or a description of gameplay. Still, it's a Mario Kart game, so we have some idea of what to expect: racing, Nintendo characters, and silly, colourful weapons. Hopefully, this will include all the underwater and zero-gravity elements of the 5-star Mario Kart 8: Deluxe on Switch, which is arguably the best the series has ever been.

The 'Tour' element of the name might give us some clue about the specifics of this game though - to us that suggests Nintendo will be placing the focus on online multiplayer, in line with its other smartphone titles. Expect multiplayer races, online leaderboards, and some sort of friend mechanic.

Hopefully, it'll include some sort of option for offline play, unlike Super Mario Run, but we wouldn't hold your breath - this probably won't be the game for anyone with a lengthy underground commute.