On Friday, Nintendo and Universal Studios hid a plan they had been making in Japan for years: the first Nintendo-themed theme park, named Super Nintendo World. Who better to introduce the character creator, longtime Nintendo developer and designer Shikeru Mario than anything else to this life-size walk world?
The 15-minute video embedded at the end of this article, mostly revolves around the park’s introductory moments, is full of Super Mario melodies and interactive elements. Many of the park’s decorations and objects can interact with park visitors wearing a special watch, called a power-up band, which includes an amoeba-like NFC chip. Press its sensor next to park objects like the Super Mario Coin module and the new virtual item will appear in the synced Super Nintendo Global app on your smartphone. It is unclear how these virtual items will affect your arrival in the world of Super Nintendo, but Miyamoto-san refers to hidden places and hidden interactive panels for visitors to discover in person. (Additionally, those power-up pads are double the amoeba for compatible hardware such as the Nintendo Switch.)
Only one “ride” received a showcase in the video, albeit briefly: Mario Kart bet against Bowser. It is hosted inside a copy of Bowser’s Palace, and visitors will be seated in one of a series of Mario-style co-cards that appear to be attached to a track like a roller coaster, which can be controlled independently. It is not clear what visitors will see to that ride, but earlier reports about the rides’ magnified reality (AR) elements reinforced the park’s first official look with AR glasses, which are paired with the Super Mario hat.
Surprisingly, there will be a robust gift shop in the theme park, which Miyamoto-chan confirms will feature exclusive Nintendo brands — especially a robust Super Mario toy whose legs are exposed to walking motion without the need for batteries, with only one hand pushing. (It’s easy to forget that Nintendo’s history as a sports publisher was made up of an incredibly number of brilliantly designed toys, mostly thanks to former Nintendo designer Kunbe Yoko, who eventually became the first Game Boy mastermind.)
He led the audience through one of Miyamoto-Chan Park’s restaurants, which included the Todd theme and its kitchen “windows” (although these were high-res LCD panels with pre-made CGI animations for the Todd characters). Some of the park’s food options were shown, and anyone who came to a themed Japanese cafe knew the country would take over Its humorously designed food Very seriously this is immediately apparent in the weird looking food shown in today’s video.
However, today’s video does not reveal any other branded experience in the world of Super Nintendo, especially as it revolves around the famous Nintendo character Tonking or Yoshi’s adventure ride previously teased. We’ll have to wait until the park opens in Japan on February 4, 2021, to see if the non-Mario content will be open to the public during its launch window, and the Universal Studio’s locations in Orlando, Los Angeles and Singapore for a long time to get open for the Nintendo-themed park. (Surprisingly, today’s release includes several warnings about COVID protocols for Japanese launch.)
While I was keen to highlight the details of the video in gallery format, any Nintendo fan worth their salt is obligated to see Miyamoto-chan introduce everything fun in this park. I personally can’t remember the last time I saw a man who was excited by a project, and based on what has been shown so far, I don’t blame him.
Nintendo / Universal Studios lists the image of Japan