Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit will price out low-income players

Nintendo recently celebrated its milestone 35th anniversary since the original release of Super Mario Bros. It’s a major cause for celebration given that Mario is the biggest franchise in video game history. With Nintendo’s celebration, they announced exciting remasters, a modernized handheld gaming device, and the release of their brand new game: Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. The announcement for the game has blown fans away with its innovation, but will Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit price point scare off gamers with less disposable income?

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit mixes real life racing with digital software, putting players right in the game. Nintendo’s karts are equipped with a camera, and other hardware connecting the karts to the digital game. Mario Kart will still have its power-ups, but their effects will only give the visual effects on screen. If struck by a Koopa Shell power up, it looks to disable the movement of the physical cars.

The maps are also fully customizable, as players can set down markers that determine the track of a course wherever they decide to set up shop.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit - Announcement Trailer - Nintendo Switch

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit price

The bundle for Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit  goes for slightly over $100 USD, depending on where you are. Most games available on the Nintendo store typically sell for $60, so this increase might sting players – or in this case households – looking to get their hands on this shiny new toy. This is all without having to buy the Nintendo Switch too.

The software for Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is advertised as free on the Nintendo Store, but will be useless without the accessories to play it. While the game might be a breath of fresh air for players, the hefty price tag will give most pause. Mario Kart is a license to print money, and accessories force players to acquire multiple karts if they really want to play the game regularly. This looks close to copying the Amiibo craze of the mid 2010’s.

Nintendo has been historically friendly to the local multiplayer cause, but this seems like a step in the wrong direction. Time will tell if this major step forward in racing video games will take off due to its technological advancements, or flop because of higher price points.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is slated for release globally on Oct. 16.

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Aja Jones

Writer from Toronto, Canada. Can taste the difference between Coke and Pepsi. Learned how to play drums through Rock Band. Named after a Steely Dan album.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for writing this. It’s not just low income players. That’s $800 of hardware in the launch video showing 2 kids playing. At first I was all excited to show my young kids the direction tech is headed but now I don’t even want them to find out.

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