Not every big VR story is spiralling out of LA this week; over in Japan we’ve seen the surprise reveal of what looks like an official Mario Kart VR game, coming to arcades.
A new trailer for Bandai Namco’s VR Zone Arcade in Shinjuku, Tokyo reveals this very surprising new game being played on none other than the HTC Vive. It almost seems too good to be true, but an official website confirmed the existence of Mario Kart Arcade GP VR.
There’s little else listed about the game, but we’ve reached out to the publisher to find out more about the game and ask if it could come to the west. From the looks of the gameplay it’s a straight VR port of the pre-existing arcade game, allowing you to sit in a real cockpit and steer with a wheel.
Still this makes Mario Kart VR Nintendo’s first official VR game. It’s somewhat fitting given that the company has always expressed concern with VR’s isolation issue, and VR arcades detract from that somewhat. At the same time it’s hugely surprising that the company’s first VR game is appearing on the HTC Vive. We’re still holding out hope that Nintendo’s latest console, the Switch, will get VR support some day, and we expected to see the first VR games on that platform.
Does this suggest more Nintendo VR games are on the way? The company has been branching out in recent years, bringing games to mobile and partnering with publishers like Ubisoft for new Mario titles. Perhaps it will take the same approach for VR.
There’s also new experiences from Dragonball Z using the Vive Trackers and others shown off in the video. Sounds like we need to book a trip to Tokyo.