It’s still more conceptual than actual, but Nintendo and Universal Studios Japan are teasing a more complete video look at what their new Mario-themed real-world venture is going to look like.
Dubbed “Super Nintendo World,” the new park—to be located in Osaka, and due in time for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics—is mostly computer-generated in the video, thereby allowing Nintendo’s roly-poly plumber to sprint, bound and flip as human park-goers stare in wonder.
Judging by the video, visitors will enter through a green Mario-land warp pipe, then congregate in a hub-like plaza from which various Mario locales (like Bowser’s castle) are visible. Will the floating platforms actually move and mask their connection points with LEDs and SLR cameras? Will those snapping piranha plants be reified animatronic terrors? Can you jump and bonk your head on fluffy low-hanging coin blocks? Will the coins themselves be holographic projections that “hop” when you run through them?
There’s no sign of the rides yet, though it’s easy to imagine Mario Kart-themed race tracks, or coin collection vamps, or other heady curios based on Nintendo’s iconic IP, all wielding the latest technological wizardry fired by Nintendo’s characteristic need to put spin on the ball. Once the Japan park is finished, the plan is to complete additional ones at Universal Studios’ U.S. Florida and California locations.
Safety first, so I’m as intrigued to know how they’re going to keep the kiddos (as well as overeager grown-ups) from clambering all over those gorgeous, tempting sets. Until Nintendo releases a virtual reality headset paired with a 3D Mario game, they’re as close as we’re getting to living this particular girl-and-boy’s adventure tale.