Months ago Namco announced that they would be bringing Mario Kart back to the arcades for a 3rd round with Mario Kart Arcade GP DX. The game was subsequently tested and released in Japan this past Summer. We made an assumption that the game would be making it to the West based upon the history of Mario Kart Arcade GP1 and GP2 having a release here. Today we can confirm that the game is in fact slated to launch outside of Japan for Winter 2013. For anyone asking where to find an arcade near them, I’d suggest visiting Aurcade.com which has over 1600 locations listed and counting.
The game is currently being showcased at the IAAPA 2013 trade show in Orlando, FL. Many other titles are as well this week (check this post for a preview of various new titles from many different companies at the event; Namco themselves have quite the line-up including the return of Alpine Racer and the psuedo-arrival of Ace Combat to arcades, Mach Storm) but this is the first big confirmation news we have received from the event so far. Stay tuned for more over the next few days. Here is the first shot of the US cabinet, which is a reuse of the 42″ monitor Dead Heat Street Racing cabinets that Namco released last year.
Reusing cabinets is a tested and true way of handling releases that also works to keep costs down. There is no price listed for the game yet but we should find that out soon. The game software is the same as found in the Japanese version (so characters like Don-Chan will be playable) and it will also be one of the few arcade games to make use of online features (new courses,karts and characters for release down the road). No confirmation on how many units can be linked yet but I think it is safe to say that 4 should be handled at least with the door left open for more. Once we know for sure we will confirm.
One thing we are also sure about is that this is not the same game as what Nintendo will be releasing for the WiiU later next year that they are calling Mario Kart 8. This is powered by Namco System ES3 – which as far as I am aware is a PC configuration (as an example Namco’s ES1 was used in Dead Heat, which is a PC-configuration that used an nVidia 9800GT. So the assumption is that this is more powerful than that by a couple of steps)
There are quite a few videos to be found on Youtube of this game in Japan but it probably won’t be too long into next year that we’ll see these show up for the English version:
So what are your thoughts on the 3rd Mario Kart Arcade game so far?
Also in other racing game news from Namco, they have revealed that their motorcycle racing game, Dead Heat Riders is available now. From the video shared on their Facebook page, the graphics look a little improved than Dead Heat Street Racing but all the courses are the same. It just has motorcycles instead of cars.