Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit uses AR toys to turn real life into a giant racing track

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit uses AR-enabled RC toys to turn the real world into a customizable racing track, and it's coming to Switch on October 16.

Mario Kart Live, which was co-developed by Velan Studios, was revealed today as part of the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Nintendo Direct. It supports up to four-player co-op, and it has two key components: remote controlled, camera-equipped cars with built-in Mario and Luigi figures, and up to four gates which you place on the ground. To create a track, you place the gates in whatever configuration you desire, and then record a dry run of sorts by racing one car through them. The gates shape the limits and bounds of the track, and the route you take during the recording process determines the shape of the actual course between them. 

The RC cars are the star of the show here. Mario and Luigi variants will be available at launch on October 16, but you can customize their in-game appearance through unlockable skins. The cars can be connected and controlled directly through a docked Switch (or a Switch Lite), and the camera mounted on them turns any surface you use for a track into an AR environment, and the cars themselves will also respond to in-game effects like items and boosts by locking or increasing their speed. 

It's a fun little idea, and Mario Kart Live also raises several questions. Will we see new RC toys featuring other drivers and karts released over time? Can players use more than four gates if they have them? Can a Switch Pro controller connected to a Switch then be used to control a car? Oh, and how much do these things cost? Hopefully Nintendo answers these and other questions in the weeks ahead. 

On top of that, Super Mario 3D All-Stars has also just been announced (opens in new tab)

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.