Super Nintendo World is officially open
And it features a life-sized Mario Kart Race. No, really...
Super Nintendo World, a theme park dedicated to the classic gaming console, officially opened in Japan on Thursday.
Super Nintendo World was first announced back in January last year and construction began quickly. Its grand opening was initially slated for sometime in the summer, but due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the opening date was repeatedly pushed back.
After being moved to November 2020, another wave of coronavirus saw infections rise in the city of Osaka (where the theme park is located) and across Japan in general. As a result, the opening was further postponed until 4 February this year.
Having been pushed back again, the theme park was, at last, opened to tourists on 18 March. The park is operating on a reduced capacity for the moment, as well as maintaining social distancing and other Covid restrictions throughout the venue.
Visitors will be able to enjoy a wide range of rides, shows and displays, as well as various other interactive elements. Notable Nintendo properties include Zelda, Pokémon, Donkey Kong and, of course, Mario.
Visiting the park is intended to mirror a gaming experience. Visitors buy wristbands (costing around €25) to collect keys, redeem coins and play mini-games around the land. Under normal circumstances, they can even team up with other people using the park's integrated app.
The entire park is believed to have cost approximately $550 million to construct, though Covid delays will have no doubt added to that figure. Tickets can cost anywhere from around €40-€145, depending on a visitor's age and the level of access they want to purchase.
Super Nintendo World is set within the larger complex of Universal Studios Japan, which has been open since 2001. The choice to open a theme park marks a significant shift for Nintendo, as it looks to branch out from being solely a games company and move into the wider world of entertainment.
The appetite for the attraction was insatiable from minute one and Nintendo plans to open at least three more Super Nintendo Worlds. Under the same Universal Studios umbrella, parks are set to be opened in LA, Orlando and Singapore.
You had us at life-sized Mario Kart race.