Last week – I wrote an article featuring some leaked images of what to expect when Super Nintendo World comes to Universal Studios in 2020. The biggest set-piece is set to be the Mario Kart ride, but just how it will work is still unknown… or is it?.
Just how can Nintendo and Universal turn the wacky world of Mario Kart into a believable ride. The race tracks, the various weapons, the characters and everything else – how do you turn that into a ride? I suggested a possible melding of VR and physical ride or augmented reality, seems I may have been right.
The above image is said to be a patent for a special type of 3D glasses to be used on the Mario Kart Ride. The glasses will not block out real images like VR does, but will in fact use the real world as a canvas to enhance what riders will see in real time.
So numbers 40 and 42 in the image will be cameras that will render the POV of the rider. Then numbers 37 and 38 are lenses that will project images in real time for the rider to see.
This is another piece of concept at of how the ride may look – now imagine wearing those glasses. The kart you sit in is real as is the scenery you will see, but what you see projected will be completely GCI, so you will be able to see and interact with characters such as Mario, Luigi, etc. Maybe you can reach up and hit those blocks to get power-up and weapons to use against fellow riders both real and CGI all rendered using augmented reality?
Given the fact that what will be rendered onto the real scenery would be CGI and the possible interaction between the riders and the CGI world and characters, that could mean each ride experience would be unique each time you ride.
If you have ever experienced The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man or Transformers: The Ride at Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure then you should be familiar with the type of ride to except – only with interactivity. Where as those rides are very passive experiences with you just sitting there watching static 3D screens at set places as you move around a track – The Mario Kart Ride will be similar but much less passive. The 3D images will be projected no matter where you look or where the track takes you so the action will always be different each time you ride. Scenery/tracks/characters could change depending on the CGI projected through the glasses. You won’t be able to tell what is real and what is CG… unless you take the glasses off.
If this is all true… you’d better get those blue shells ready.