(Thanks to Kevin Williams for the tip)
It was originally mentioned that Bandai Namco’s Mario Kart Arcade GP DX was an online game and as a part of that, annual content updates would be sent to the machines. Since the game was released in Japan about a year before the International (US/Europe) versions were, they have been ahead of that curve slightly and today it was announced that they have the latest updates in hand (click here for news on last year’s update for the US)
In the last update that they rolled out in Japan, it added cross-site play. For the latest software, the new content includes a Pac-Man course as a part of the “Namco Circuit” called Pac-Man Stadium; UI improvements have been made for player avatars and approaching items; the game will suggest a “Recommended course” and offer a trial kart to race in; they have made changes/improvements to how the game treats a continue (this is usually the main criticism of the Mario Kart Arcade series, is that you have to pay to continue; from the sounds of it, the Japanese version will reward you for using the Banapassport card but you still have to pay); you can now jump in the game; item alerts are more obvious and there are some other fixes. Click on the images below for a larger view:
Here is some video of the new circuit in action:
I’ve reached out to Namco America regarding the US update and they stated that due to translation and some other behind-the-scenes development requirements, the update is not rolling out here yet. Given that it has usually fallen around July, I imagine such will be the case this time. Hopefully the US update includes the cross-site play in addition to new tracks/karts/items. What are you hoping to see with the next upgrade?