Japan Gets All The Cool Toys: 'Mario Kart VR,' 'Dragon Ball VR' Debut At Japanese VR Arcade

Nintendo held its E3 2017 press event today (more on that here, here, and here), but the most exciting piece of Nintendo-related news didn’t come from the company's own event. In fact, the most exciting news didn’t even come from Nintendo itself. By far the wildest Nintendo-related news from today--in our humble opinion--is that Mario Kart exists in virtual reality form. We’re equally excited for fans of the "Dragon Ball" anime series, too because there's also a Dragon Ball VR game.

A VR arcade called VR Zone Shinjuku opened its doors today in Shinjuku Japan, and its selection of VR titles is impressive. VR Zone Shinjuku offers thrilling experiences such as Height Fear Show, which tests your tolerance for extreme heights, and Despair Jungle, in which you must outrun dinosaurs in a jungle. VR Zone Shinjuku also offers licensed VR experiences of world famous properties, such as "Dragon Ball" and Mario Kart.

The VR attractions at VR Zone Shinjuku come equipped with Vive Business Edition VR headsets and custom-tailored accessories for each experience. Despair Jungle pairs with a VR treadmill system; Height Fear Show pairs with a harness system for safety, and to enhance the experience; and you can sit in a cockpit simulator to play a spaceship game called The Soul of the Soul. The Mario Kart Arcade VR and Dragon Ball VR experiences also include specialty peripherals.

The Mario Kart Arcade VR kiosks feature racing seats, steering wheels, and pedals inside a pod that’s dressed up as a kart from the Mario Kart game series. VR Zone Shinjuku offers multiple Mario Kart pods which are connected for multiplayer races against other patrons.

The Dragon Ball VR experience is set up on large kiosk pods to give you room to safely move around and swing your arms. This experience also features wrist-mounted devices that track your wrist movement to allow you to fire Kamehame Waves. VR Zone Shinjuku said that Dragon Ball VR offers a multiplayer mode which allows you to battle others, and you can also play a single-player training mission.  

Bandai Namco makes the VR experiences at VR Zone Shinjuku, but we’re not sure if they are available to other VR arcades. The Mario Kart Arcade VR game is an adaptation of Bandai Namco’s Mario Kart license for arcade cabinets. Bandai also holds the distribution license for "Dragon Ball" video games. It’s entirely possible that these games will see wider distribution in the future, but for now, you can only play them in Shinjuku.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

  • none12345
    Err why do they show people playing racing sims wearing wrist tracking braclets. If your hands need to be on the steering wheel to play the game, wtf is the point of the bracelets.
  • silentobserver
    19813702 said:
    Err why do they show people playing racing sims wearing wrist tracking braclets. If your hands need to be on the steering wheel to play the game, wtf is the point of the bracelets.

    probably for throwing stuff, since it's for mariokart
  • GdogAwesome
    hello pink eye lol
  • ObamasBFF
    If anyone out there hasn't tried VR on a PC or even a lowly PSVR, it's awesome. For racing it's really awesome since you get an incredible sense of speed and unlike games where you need things like racing lines, you just drive by feel - so you just know naturally when to hit the brakes because you're going into a corner too fast. I mean you can still certainly wreck by being a dummy or just taking the car to its limits, but it's pretty awesome to just feel like you're there. The downside however is getting motion sick, when you move in a game but don't really move in real life, that makes a lot of people sick, including myself. I love VR, but it makes me want to puke about 80% of the time. BUT on the positive side the way I describe the feeling in VR versus my friends that don't get sick, I'm convinced my brain is really thinking I'm there where as their brains are just saying I'm looking at a screen.