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Mario Kart Arcade Game Gets VR Upgrade

Sony has PlayStation VR, Microsoft has HoloLens, Nintendo has… a virtual reality upgrade for Mario Kart Arcade GP.

For the majority of gamers, playing Mario Kart requires a Nintendo home console or handheld, with the most recent release being Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch. But since 2005 there has been another, albeit quite limited availability Mario Kart experience. It's called Mario Kart Arcade GP, and it was developed by Bandai Namco specifically for use in arcades.

There's been three versions of the arcade game until now, with the last being Mario Kart Arcade GP DX released in 2013. Now there's a fourth, only this one is called Mario Kart Arcade GP VR and adds virtual reality using HTC Vive headsets.

The addition of VR means Mario Kart becomes a first-person experience, which is sure to attract the crowds to Japanese arcades. Who wouldn't want to look around the colorful world of Mario Kart, or turn their head to see their character is holding a banana ready to throw?

Although Mario Kart Arcade GP VR doesn't have a release date yet, it will be heading to the Bandai Namco-run VR Zone Shinjuku in Tokyo, which opened on July 14. As you've probably guessed, it's a section of arcade dedicated to virtual reality game experiences and Mario Kart will be joining the likes of Dragon Ball, Neon Genesis Evangelion (trailer below), and a Ghost in the Shell exhibit.

It's unlikely any of these VR games will make it outside of Japan, but if you're planning a visit to Nintendo's home territory, then I'd definitely add VR Zone Shinjuku as a place to visit.

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