Gamers have been addicted to the Mario Kart series on Nintendo consoles for decades, and now Hot Wheels is bringing that racing experience to real life.
Mattel showed off the Mario Kart edition of its Hot Wheels AI Intelligent Race System at Nintendo's lounge duringlast week, which features a track smart enough to keep Mario and his competitors on the road while letting players shoot virtual hazards at each other. (Also at Nintendo's SDCC lounge was .)
In my brief time racing around the track, I was able to steer my car quickly around other racers without going out of bounds and could turn on "RC Mode" to go off-road. The race controller also plays sounds during a race, including the same tones you hear in-game that start a race like in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe ($57 at Amazon) as well as character voices.
While this feature wasn't available as part of the Comic-Con demo, Hot Wheels says players will be able to drop bananas and fire shells that slow opponents in the firing line. Unfortunately it won't be possible to see these on the track, which is similar to the original non-Nintendo version that Hot Wheels released last year. Still, hopefully it'll be satisfying thwarting racers from taking your lead.
The starter kit, which will include a 26-piece track along with Mario and Yoshi cars, is going to be a Toys "R" Us exclusive released in October for $135 (pricing converts roughly to £105 and AU$170). A kit that includes Luigi will also be released that month for $25 (roughly £20 and AU$30), with Bowser and Princess Peach set to debut later in the year.
So until Universal Studios, this racetrack is your best real-life take on the racing game.