Following a release of Switch sales information earlier on Wednesday, Nintendo closed the day by confirming two major releases coming by the end of the company’s current fiscal year: the paid Nintendo Switch Online service, and the first version of Mario Kart for smartphones.
The latter, currently titled Mario Kart Tour, will launch “in the fiscal year ending in March 2019,” according to both the company’s Wednesday investor call and a brief announcement on Nintendo’s social media channels. The only information we have about the game thus far is the logo you can see at the top of this article.
Meanwhile, Nintendo’s plans for the paid Switch Online service had already been pegged for some time in 2018. Today’s news finally confirms a more specific window—albeit later than fans might have expected—of September 2018. Launching such a service during the busy, holiday-season month of September may very well point to a major, online-heavy Nintendo game launching at the same time. Nintendo has yet to confirm any game release dates for 2018 beyond this Spring.
As had already been confirmed, this $20/year service will debut with some form of the company’s long-running Virtual Console service. In this form, Switch Online will include a selection of classic games that can be played so long as fans pay for its subscription charge, as opposed to the pay-per-game charge used on older consoles. The investor call hinted at “ways to further heighten the [Switch Online] experience” without clarifying what those might look like, or exactly how the classic-game selection will work (for example, whether it will be an ever-growing or rotating selection). We already know, at the very least, that those classic games will include new online-versus modes where relevant.
Nintendo reiterated its plans to release an animated, feature-length Super Mario film, and it confirmed what had long been rumored: the movie is currently in production at Illumination Studios (makers of the Despicable Me and Minions 3D-cartoon series). Mario series creator Shigeru Miyamoto has now been confirmed as a co-producer alongside Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri. Neither company has yet to confirm a release window for the film.
Unlike this morning’s sales-figures publication, the investor call included hard confirmation of how well the Super Nintendo Classic Edition has been selling since its September launch: a combined count of “over four million” units sold across the US, Japan, Europe, and other territories.
The rest of the presentation touched upon sales figures that had already been presented earlier in the day, with a few new details sprinkled in. One of those should come as no surprise: Nintendo games’ add-on DLC campaigns have been successful, and the company plans to continue attaching more paid add-ons to its software, as described in the above slide. Additionally, in describing the success of its smartphone game portfolio, one slide indicates that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is played by over 75 percent women.
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