Nintendo bringing Mario Kart to smartphones

It's one of the biggest and best-loved franchises in the history of gaming, and now Nintendo have announced that a new Mario Kart racing game will be available to play on smartphones within the next year.

The game, titled Mario Kart Tour, is currently slated for release in “the fiscal year ending in March 2019”.

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The news came via a tweet by Nintendo of America posted at 1am on February 1, 2018, which reads: "The checkered flag has been raised and the finish line is near."

"A new mobile application is now in development: Mario Kart Tour!"

The cult series first appeared in 1992 with the SNES game Super Mario Kart. Since then, the likes of Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart Wii have followed across Nintendo’s multiple consoles, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe the latest in the franchise.

Mario Kart Tour is set to be made available on both iOS and Android-enabled smartphones.

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Mario Kart Tour follows in the footsteps of the Nintendo mobile game Super Mario Run, which was released back in December 2016.

The Japanese video game giant have also announced it is working on a Mario movie with Illumination Entertainment, the animation studio behind Minions and Despicable Me.

While few details are known at the moment, Nintendo says the film is being co-produced by Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri.