Mario Kart to hit the arcades

Namco and Nintendo combine to put the moustachioed one in coin-op racer

The All Nippon Amusement Machine Operator's Union might send visions of blue-collar pinkos, griping about the working conditions in palaces, shuffling through your heads but, really, it's far more exciting than that.

In fact, the AOU show is actually the Japanese arcade equivalent of E3 and, this year, the game that has had every union member dropping their roll-up in shock has been the Namco and Nintendo-developed Mario Kart Arcade Grand Prix.

Promising to be more than just Double Dash!! with a yen for Yen, the game will feature 24 courses, set across six different worlds, and even star a whole set of bonus characters, including Pacman himself.

But the most interesting feature of all is the Nam Cam: a built-in EyeToy-style camera that puts your visage on to your screen and right into the face of your trailing rivals. Then, with your foes vanquished, you can take your score, and grinning mug, off to another machine or arcade on a credit card-sized memory stick.

Mario Kart Arcade Grand Prix is only set for release in Japan, this autumn, but a British release certainly is a possibility

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