Mario Kart Tour is coming to Android and iOS devices in the near future, Nintendo revealed late Wednesday, thus confirming the first Mario Kart mobile game in history. The Japanese game-developer publisher didn't provide many details on the project, having only said Mario Kart Tour is scheduled to launch in its fiscal year 2018 which runs from April 1st to March 31st, 2019.The kart racing franchise will be celebrating its 26th anniversary this summer, with its last main installment being Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch, though that particular title is essentially just an enhanced port of Mario Kart 8 which hit the Wii U in 2014.
The timing of the first Mario Kart game for mobile devices may also be indicative of another major title from the series being in the works, with Nintendo repeatedly saying that its Android and iOS offerings are meant to promote its console ecosystem. The company specifically timed the releases of Pokemon GO, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Super Mario Run relatively close to the launches of major entries in their respective franchises, having later said that strategy boosted its console sales while generating additional revenue on its own. Should it decide to stick with the same pattern, a new Mario Kart game for the Switch is likely to be released by early 2020 or even sooner if the mobile spin-off hits the market by the end of the current calendar year. The project is likely being co-developed with DeNA, a Japanese entertainment company that assisted Nintendo in creating the majority of its existing Android and iOS apps.
The Tokyo-based gaming company has yet to provide an update on the status of history's first official mobile game based on The Legend of Zelda series that has already been confirmed as being in the making but missed its initial release window, with industry sources previously claiming the title was meant to be launched by the end of the last calendar year. Nintendo is revamping its mobile business to a degree in 2018, having opted to commission additional third-party studios for its smartphone and tablet titles, in addition to announcing the discontinuation of its very first app — Miitomo — less than two years after releasing it, presumably due to poor financial results.