Nintendo is once again blurring the line between toys and digital entertainment with Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, a “mixed reality” product that’s part-RC car and part-video game. Developed jointly with Velan Studios, Home Circuit gives you the ability to create your own Mario Kart courses in real life. The key to this is a toy kart that you can drive around using your Switch. The kart features a camera that streams a video feed back to the system’s screen, which the game then overlays with a HUD, item boxes, environmental hazards, and other Mario Kart trappings.
It’s a genuinely impressive conceit, the same kind of technological sleight of hand that made the company’s various Labo kits–which combine peripherals you fashion out of cardboard with the Switch hardware–seem so mystifying when they were unveiled. Given how unorthodox it is, it may also be initially hard to wrap your head around, but Nintendo gave us a much better understanding of how it all works and what you can actually do in Mario Kart Live during a recent preview presentation. Here’s what we learned.
Mario Kart Live is compatible with both the standard Nintendo Switch and the handheld-only Nintendo Switch Lite. If you have the standard model, you can also play in TV mode with the system docked. The game supports the Switch Pro Controller as well.