Several years ago, Nintendo and Universal Studios entered an agreement…to produce a Mario-themed portion of the park that would launch in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It sounded like a foolproof plan. Mario and the Olympics are both attractive brands. As people poured into Tokyo from all over the world, they would also be attracted to the park, and it would make back its budget nearly instantly.
As late as the beginning of this year, the plan was still to launch in Summer 2020. Nintendo was confident enough to launch an early promotional campaign starring CharliXCX last January. It’s pretty well-produced, as well as expensive-looking….
Then we got to March and beyond. Entire countries were shut down. Tourism plummeted. And the Olympics were postponed for an entire year. Even if Super Nintendo World was ready, there was no point in opening just yet.
Now we hear they think they can pull off a socially distant February launch. There will be more to Super Nintendo World eventually — a Donkey Kong-themed area is still under construction — but there’s a lot that will exist on launch, including Koopa’s Challenge, an AR-assisted Mario Kart ride where folks will have the ability to shoot shells at enemies while they tour multiple on-rails environments from the Mario Kart series.
Japan's #SuperNintendoWorld will open on Feb. 4, 2021 in Osaka.@rumireports gets a world’s first look at @USJ_Official's real-life #Mario Kart. More: https://t.co/T9nUMnB1UB #任天堂 pic.twitter.com/oZku1gwQTj
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) November 30, 2020
The ride fits eight players at once, and they’ll be competing against each other, though the above video doesn’t explain how. Perhaps the group that shoots the most virtual items will accelerate the fastest?
Super Nintendo World opens February 4 in Osaka.