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, Mario Kart Tour is yet to be released - but that looks to change in the near future, thanks to a recent announcement from Nintendo. 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 confirmed that Mario Kart Tour had suffered a delay.
As revealed during Nintendo's quarterly earnings call, Mario Kart Tour was delayed until Summer 2019 to "improve quality of the application and expand the content offerings after launch,".
The closed beta tests took place through the summer, and Nintendo finally confirmed in August 2019 that the highly-anticipated game would be released on iOS and Android on 25 September 2019. You can even pre-order it on the App Store and Google Play if that's your kind of thing.
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?
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. The good news is that it's a similar story with Mario Kart Tour, offering a simultaneous launch on both iOS and Android.
How much will Mario Kart Tour cost?
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, and Nintendo has confirmed that it'll offer 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
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.