Mario Kart DS

Key events

22nd November 2005

Mario Kart DS

13th October 2005

More Mario Kart DS details

New HD Mario Kart screenshots revealed

It's arcade game Mario Kart: Arcade Gran Prix DX.

Screenshots of a new HD Mario Kart game have surfaced - not from Nintendo, but from Namco Bandai, developer of the series' arcade outings.

Buy a Mario Kart arcade machine

A bargain at just 10,000.

If you're seeking that elusive Christmas present for the Mario Kart fan who has everything, here's the answer - you can now buy your very own MK arcade machine via

Mario Kart drives WFC uptake

Online bit's popular, apparently.

Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection is quite popular, says Nintendo, amazingly - a week after Mario Kart DS launched in the US of States, more than 52,000 unique users had logged on to the service. More probably, if you count the twins and clones.

Mario Kart DS

Mario Kart DS

The answer to 'Wi-Fi?'

Ah, Mario Kart. You don't even need to describe the basics.

(Since I'm paid to though: eight go-karting characters from Mario's world dart around themed tracks for three laps, collecting power-ups and projectiles from question-mark blocks and doing unspeakably cruel things to one another with them; the controls are superb and the intuitive power-sliding system superbly judged; and there's a multiplayer power-up-focused arena mode which remains one of the few games my sister will agree to play with me as we sit there in the lounge on Christmas Day staring down the Queen's speech and wishing we'd eaten less chocolate.)

I still think back to the way the sliding worked in Super Mario Kart and marvel at it in my head. It was a show-off move, a boost and an evasion tactic rolled into one - it was one of my first experiences of leaning into the corners with a racing game, and as you realised you were on collision course with something unavoidable, a hop-and-turn threw you to one side, screeching across the racing line like a surfer dodging a shark. (Presumably. My surfing experience is pretty much limited to the sort that led me to wind up here. That and Home & Away.) Mario Kart DS is closer to Mario Kart 64 in its approach to sliding - it doesn't whip you out to one side quite as much when you start, but when you throw yourself into a turn with enough drifting room to push away from the curb and into it again twice before running off-track, and you gain a red-sparked boost. Most of the new tracks seem purpose-built to be taken advantage of in this manner.

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Mario Kart DS

Ellie goes hands-on with Nintendo's classic karter.

Let's not muck about, Mario Kart is the best series of racing games ever. Yes, better than all those super shiny ones with beautifully polished cars and incredibly realistic driving physics and tarmac made up of individually rendered pieces of gravel designed by people who have made it their life's work to recreate interminable stretches of motorway to absolute perfection and gone half blind in the process.

Hideko Konno talks Mario Kart

And his crazy Rev wok game.

Mario Kart DS producer Hideko Konno has revealed a few more details of the game, including news that there are secret characters to unlock and stars to earn if you're proper-good.

Mario Kart DS tracks listed

Tempting to look, isn't it?

Some cheeky chappies on the internet have gotten hold of a complete track listing for Mario Kart DS - everything you can race around in both Retro and Nitro mode - and we've been able to confirm it all using our secret spies, who shall not be named for fear of their jobs.

More Mario Kart DS details

More Mario Kart DS details

And news of a red hot bundle.

With just six weeks to go until the game launches in Europe, Nintendo has revealed some more info about the multiplayer modes we can expect to find in Mario Kart DS.

There will of course be a DS Download option so you can play against up to seven opponents, even if only one person has a copy of the game. There are three multiplayer modes - Racing, which offers you a choice of eight tracks, Balloon Battle and Shine Thief, both of which have three arenas.

If you've got a game card you can choose your own character and use personalised icons, but if you're downloading from another player, you'll have to play as Shy Guy. All DS Download races and battles are limited to the 100cc engine class.

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Nintendo has updated Mario Kart DS's European release date and announced European pricing for the Wi-Fi USB Connector it unveiled in Japan this week, which will launch on the same day. Having mentioned this yesterday, we thought we'd go into more detail for you on how it all works.

New Mario Kart DS details

New Mario Kart DS details

Online races! And battles!

Hideki Konno, producer of the forthcoming Mario Kart game for the Nintendo DS, has revealed a few more details of what we can expect when the title races into view later this year.

As previously announced, Mario Kart DS will feature at least 15 brand new tracks and a further 15 picked from earlier instalments in the series. Up to eight players can take each other on wirelessly, and you can also participate in four-player online races via the new Nintendo WiFi service.

And that's not all - Konno has now confirmed you'll be able to play Battle matches over the Internet, too. There's no sign of a co-op mode, however.

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Mario Kart DS

Kart carrier signals.

Walking along the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the way to Nintendo's pre-E3 press conference last month, I stumbled across Mario Kart. Not the game, either, but rather an actual cart selling, well, actually I don't know. It was closed. But the cart itself was either an incredible coincidence, a fan who had no idea what was going on in the hotel behind him, or, I like to think, a canny bit of salesmanship from a man who, judging by his marketing gumption, quite probably could have done bigger and better things with this life.