Nintendo dropped a surprise Direct presentation Thursday morning to celebrate Mario's 35th anniversary, and one of the biggest reveals is how the Mario Kart franchise will be swerving in an innovative new direction. Here's everything you need to know for pre-ordering what'll undoubtedly be a hit this holiday season: Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit will let gamers pilot Mario-themed, remote-controlled cars and race them on elaborate real-world tracks they build in their living room. Each RC car comes with a built-in camera that will stream video back to the user's Switch, which will then overlay item boxes and track boundaries you'd expect out of any Mario Kart game onto the footage. This Amiibo-esque, augmented reality spin-off to the popular racing series was co-developed by New York-based dev Velan Studio.
The mixed-reality title will be released on October 16 and come with a Mario or Luigi RC car along with cardboard racing gates and signboards to design your raceway. Up to three friends can play together on the same course, but each will need their own Nintendo Switch, game, and cart.
The entire starter kit will come with the game, one RC car, all of the cardboard track pieces (4 gates and 2 arrow signboards), and a USB charging cable, all for $99.99. Nintendo only shared that pre-order details will be "coming soon," but here's how to make sure you can lockdown a Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit bundle just in case they sell out later this year. (Hint: They will.)
As of this writing, the full Mario and Luigi bundles are the only ways to play the game. It's unclear if additional carts featuring other classic Mario Kart characters will be sold separately.
How to know when Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit pre-orders go live
Mario Kart fans aren't currently able to reserve a copy of Nintendo's newly announced RC car game. Pre-orders for the title will most likely begin in September, seeing as the game is less than two months from release.
Gamers can use a number of free web and mobile apps to make sure they know the exact moment Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit becomes available for pre-order.
Sites like Sken.io and VisualPing.io will notify users whenever a webpage changes. Copy the link for the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit landing page and paste it into either of those sites. Then create an account with your email, select how often you want the services to monitor the site, and you'll receive a notification when Nintendo updates the site to announce pre-orders.
If you'd rather use your phone to track the game's pre-order status, iOS users can download Distill.io and Android users have access to Web Alert. Both of these mobile apps work just like their web counterparts, simply create an account and they'll send you email or push notifications when Nintendo's site is updated.
Nintendo didn't tease when gamers can expect pre-orders to go live, so it might be worth it to set your monitoring app to check the site once a day. There's been a short supply of Nintendo Switches due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic due to backed-up supply chains. This could affect other Nintendo products, especially ones with various components like Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. So make sure you don't miss a beat.
What retailers will sell Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit?
As of this writing, there's no way to know for sure where Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit will be sold. When pre-orders go live, mklive.nintendo.com/buy/ will have more information. However, trying to purchase almost any Nintendo product from the official website pulls up a list of retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and GameStop that may be selling it online. Then there's, of course, the Nintendo Store. Which is to say that all the typical game retailers should have Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit in stock.
And because this kit involves peripherals, it's not like you can just resort to downloading the game digitally. As such, it's best to lock in a pre-order right when they go live rather than waiting until Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is released in October. Otherwise, you run the risk of retailers running out.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit will be released for the Nintendo Switch on October 16.