Mario Kart is coming to your phone, but don't start your engines just yet

It probably won't be here until next year

Credit: Nintendo

After announcing its best quarterly results in nearly a decade, Nintendo took to Twitter to announce that its beloved Mario Kart franchise will be making the jump from consoles to mobile phones, but before you get too excited, there’s a catch: The window for release is sometime between now and March… of 2019.

Long lead times are nothing new when it comes to Nintendo, but 14 months is a bit extreme. Super Mario Run was unveiled at Apple’s iPhone 7 event in September 2016 and didn’t launch until December, while the Android version had a similar two-month window between announcement and launch.

Nevertheless, fans will surely flock to the game whenever it pops up in the app stores, joining Super Mario Run (iOS/Android), Fire Emblem Heroes (iOS/Android), and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp (iOS/Android). Nintendo previously said it plans to release 2-3 titles a year for mobile devices, but it didn’t divulge any other titles in the works during its quarterly results. It has been rumored that a Legend of Zelda title is in the works, but Nintendo has yet to confirm its existence.

Called Mario Kart Tour, the game will presumably take players to various locations around the world as they battle in various circuits for bragging rights. Nintendo didn’t divulge whether there would be an online multiplayer options, but the title certainly alludes to that style of gameplay.

Also unclear is how Mario Kart Tour would be sold. Despite smashing download records, Super Mario Run’s freemium format—which offers a handful of levels for free and charges $10 for the full game—was “less of a moneymaker for Nintendo than might have been expected,” according to the company. However, Nintendo also said it prefers a pay-once-and-pay format rather than the in-app-purchase model of games like Fire Emblem Heroes.

But no matter how Nintendo sells Mario Kart Tour for smartphones, its main role is as an advertisement for its Switch console ($300 on Amazon) and 3DS handheld games. During its third-quarter financial results, the company announced its best quarter in eight years, with sales of more than seven million Switches and nine million copies of Super Mario Odyssey.

Why this matters: Like Apple and Samsung, anything Nintendo does is newsworthy. But bringing Super Mario Kart to phones is a big deal. Not only is it one of the most popular games in Nintendo’s catalog, it brings another classic franchise to mobile phones and opens up the possibility of online multiplayer in a Mario title. We got a glimpse of how much fun that could be with Super Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS, but Nintendo could take it to a whole new level on our phones. We just hope we don’t have to wait until next spring to get it.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Simon

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?