It was back in February 2018 that Nintendo announced its next big mobile game would be Mario Kart Tour, and while the title's recently been available in a closed beta in some countries, the final launch date has remained elusive.
Today, we can happily report that Nintendo has revealed that Mario Kart Tour will be officially launching on both iOS and Android on September 25.
Buckle up, because #MarioKartTour will be available on 9/25. Follow @mariokarttourEN for more information heading into the game's release. pic.twitter.com/1V0njTVWRxAugust 27, 2019
You can already either pre-order Mario Kart Tour on the App Store (opens in new tab), or pre-register your interest in the game on the Play Store (opens in new tab), with both the iOS and Android versions being free-to-play.
However, despite the lack of an up-front price, it's already quite evident from the mobile game's preview screenshots that there will be plenty of optional microtransactions to more than make up for the otherwise free title.
Based on those screenshots, it appears that in-game currencies will be used to unlock playable characters, vehicles and other items, and while there will likely be a way to earn these coins through racing in the game and completing challenges, there'll undoubtedly be the ability to greatly speed the unlock process up by forking out some real-world cash.
3...2...1...Let’s go! 🏁Pre-order @NintendoAmerica’s Mario Kart Tour now: https://t.co/PwPKQkr5IE pic.twitter.com/LBgGKUSH1rAugust 27, 2019
Mario Kart Tour will feature some of the classic courses that fans have come to know and love, alongside a roster of tracks based on real-world cities around the globe that rotates every two weeks.
Players will be able to play the game with just one finger, allowing for control over steering, drifting and hurling items at your opponents. Alongside the typical racing formula, there will be other circuits in which you're given an objective outside of coming in first place, such as "Goomba Takedown" and "Vs. Mega Bowser".
Naturally, being a mobile game, you'll have the ability to compete against other players, both in individual races and in a more macro sense on global leaderboards. You can also choose to play solo, although you'll still require a persistent internet connection and a Nintendo Account to do so.
Nintendo's first major foray into the mobile gaming sphere, Super Mario Run, received a mixed reception, largely due to its poor handling of in-game purchasing. However, it seems like Mario Kart Tour has adopted a more familiar strategy, akin to the recently-released Dr. Mario World, but we'll have to wait and see how it pans out for Nintendo.