It’s almost time for Mario to come riding in to save Nintendo’s portable 3DS gaming gadget as Mario Kart 7 moves into pole position ahead of its November 28th launch. And with it comes the inevitable tie-ins and add-ons. The first to get the green light is this official Nintendo steering wheel which, just like big brother Wii, will put the player right in the driving seat – wherever they are!
Revealed in Japan, the Mario Kart 7 steering wheel is still to get a UK and Europe release but when it does drop the unique snap-on controller will replace the Nintendo 3DS console’s standard controls and upgrade the motion control – adding sturdy grips and chunky shoulder buttons for mastering those awesome power-slides. It looks pretty bulky for a peripheral and almost doubles the console’s size but we’re sure Nintendo have worked out the ergonomics and it won’t throw the game play off balance. And to be fair, it’s not nearly as unsightly as the recently outted Expansion Slide.
Mario Kart 7 is the much-anticipated follow-up to the classic racer featuring a cast of popular Nintendo characters including Mario himself, brother Luigi and Princess Peach, in a huge selection of colourful and chaotic courses. The series is heralded as one of the best multiplayer titles ever and its appeal is as still strong today. We’ve been looking forward to its arrival on Nintendo 3DS for some time, after it was teased back at the E3 conference back in June.
Mario Kart 7 will follow the popular plumber’s platform debut on the Nintendo 3DS with Super Mario 3D Land warping in a couple weeks earlier. We expect the steering wheel controller to come both as a bundle (with console and/or game) and also as stand-alone purchase when Mario Kart 7 races in on November 28th.
Potential buyers of the Nintendo 3DS may notice that the price of ownership is starting to creep up again from the consoles previously slashed cost. Most noticably in supermarket Tesco and its online outlet, the console has just gone from a staggeringly low £115 up to £139. We can only speculate that this is to cash-in in advance of popular titles, such as Mario Kart 7, touching down and the recently turned around business for the once struggling handheld.
Stay tuned for an upcoming Retro Replay article, when the Gadget Helpline will bring you a look back at the original Super Mario Kart, which debuted on Super Nintendo in 1992.
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In our weekly flashback feature – RETRO REPLAY – we took a look back at Grand Theft Auto III ahead of the classic’s revival for mobile gadgets in 2012!