Nintendo ‘Mario Kart’ headed to smartphones with ‘Mario Kart Tour’

Nintendo will be releasing "Mario Kart Tour" for smartphones. (Twitter/NintendoAmerica)

Nintendo has announced that its beloved video game franchise “Mario Kart” is headed to a new gaming platform: smartphones. Although an exact day has not been revealed, Nintendo says a new mobile phone app called “Mario Kart Tour” will be released in the next financial year.

Nintendo announced the new mobile app on social media. “The checkered flag has been raised and the finish line is near,” the company wrote in a Tweet. “A new mobile application is now in development: ‘Mario Kart Tour!’ #MarioKartTour Releasing in the fiscal year ending in March 2019.”

The next fiscal year means the app could launch anytime between April this year and March 2019. Nintendo did not provide any other details about the upcoming video game, but the app is expected to be made available for both iOS and Android smartphones.

The development of “Mario Kart Tour” represents the Japanese video game maker’s continued push to increase its influence and player base on the massive smartphone video game market. Back in December 2016, Nintendo launched its first mobile phone game, “Super Mario Run,” to a great reception.

Following the footsteps of “Super Mario Run,” a couple of popular titles have also been released to the mobile phone market by Nintendo. “Fire Emblem Heroes” and “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp” were both released for smartphones in 2017.

There are also reports that Nintendo is working on a new game that would take the “Legend of Zelda” franchise to smartphones, but Nintendo has not confirmed that yet.

Recently, Nintendo announced that its hybrid video game console Switch has sold over 14.86 million units, making it one of the best-selling consoles in the world. The company has also announced that it has sold about half as many copies of “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” for the Switch. “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” is a direct port of its older, Wii U version, which has sold an additional eight million copies.