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‘Mario Kart Tour’ Beta Hits Android in May

“Mario Kart Tour,” Nintendo’s smartphone take on its popular “Mario Kart” racing franchise, gets an Android-based beta next month, the company announced this week.

The closed beta for “Mario Kart Tour” is currently planned to run from May 22 to June 4, and Nintendo is accepting applications for the beta until May 7.

Nintendo warns that it has a limited number of slots for the beta — which is only open to people in Japan and the United State — and if more people apply then it can accept, they will decide who can join randomly.

The company announced in January that it was delaying the game until this summer and the week’s beta announcement doesn’t put a more specific date on its release, sticking to this summer.

Mario Kart Tour” was scheduled to be released last fiscal year, which ended in March, but the game was being pushed back in order to “improve quality of the application and expand the content offerings after launch.” The beta, according to the page for signing up, is to help improve the game pre-launch.The company’s smartphone game income was 46.0 billion yen for the fiscal year which ended in March, a 17.0% increase compared to the previous fiscal year.

While “Mario Kart Tour” is a smartphone title, it could be tied to the marketing for or release of an unannounced “Mario Kart” game for Nintendo’s Switch.

With most of Nintendo’s mainline franchises already on the company’s system, a “Mario Kart” title could be a significant driver for sales.

Historically, one of the biggest franchises on previous Nintendo systems has been “Mario Kart.” “Mario Kart DS” sold more than 23 million copies. “Mario Kart Wii” sold more than 37 million copies. “Mario Kart 7 on 3DS” sold 17 million. Even the poorly received Wii U managed to sell more than 8 million copies of “Mario Kart 8.” While Switch has a Kart game already which sold more than 9 million copies, it’s really just a port of the 2014 Wii U title.

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