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By Dan Moren

Nintendo reveals Mario Kart Tour for smartphones, Switch Online details

I’m a fairly recent convert to the Nintendo Switch, but there are none so zealous as the converted. In Nintendo’s most recent investor call, it revealed several pieces of news that have got me pretty pumped.

First up: Mario Kart for smartphones. That’s something I’ve been agitating for for years now, and the only downside to this news is that the release window is “the fiscal year ending in March 2019.” Whether the app, which is dubbed Mario Kart Tour, is more of a Super Mario Run-style simplification of the original remains to be seen, though I doubt it will be the full Mario Kart 8 Deluxe experience that you can get on the Switch. (Still, a man can dream.)

Nintendo also announced that the pay version of its subscription service, Switch Online, will debut in September of this year. The $20/year subscription will include not only online multiplayer (which has been free since the Switch’s release), but access to a Virtual Console library of classic games that you’ll be able to play for free as long as you’re subscribed—think the Netflix model. Some of those games will even reportedly be updated to include new multiplayer components where it makes sense. (Nintendo said it is working on “ways to further heighten the gaming experience for consumers” which is mysterious and I guess only a little sinister?)

And, just in case you’ve been wondering how the Switch itself is doing, don’t fret: Nintendo’s sold 14.86 million of the console since it was released—that’s more than the Wii U sold in the just over four years it was available. To no one’s surprise, three Switch titles have surpassed the 6 million sales mark: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Odyssey, and Breath of the Wild.

In other words, the Switch’s future seems promising. I may have only had it for a few days at the end of 2017, but it was probably one of my favorite gadgets of all last year anyway. Between new titles like Mario Tennis and crazy cardboard constructs, I’m pretty excited to see what 2018 brings for it.

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[Dan Moren is a tech writer, novelist, podcaster, and the Official Dan of Six Colors. You can email him at dan@sixcolors.com or find him on Twitter at @dmoren.]