In the latest baffling money move by Nintendo, the newest Mario Kart Tour update allows players to purchase characters upfront, including the recently announced Diddy Kong racer. However, what's the price on that racing monkey? A whopping $39.99 - just $10 less than the price of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch. Bananas, indeed.
The Tokyo Tour update for Mario Kart Tour dropped yesterday, bringing brand new tracks in addition to karts and exciting new characters to the game. Less exciting are the drop rates, which players have to overcome in order to unlock these new characters through the "Pipe," a gacha-style mechanic with which players can receive new kart customizations and characters. Some characters' rates as low as 0.3%, so the Pipe is far from a reliable option.
The other way to obtain new characters is through buying packs, which unlock characters automatically and reward players with additional gifts. With this latest update, players have access to the Rosalina Pack and the Diddy Kong Pack. Each pack is priced accordingly, based on the number of gifts included.
The Rosalina Pack includes 45 rubies (in-game currency), five Star Tickets (which automatically gifts players a grand star), and unlocks Rosalina as a racer. It costs $19.99. The pricing isn't cheap or fair, but the recently ended New York Tour priced its Mario Pack at the same price as well. It's not a great precedent, but not unheard of either.
The Diddy Kong Pack includes 90 rubies, a Quick Ticket (automatically gives players access to a cup they haven't unlocked), and Diddy Kong as a racer. It costs $39.99.
To compare, the Switch's Mario Kart 8, the franchise's best-selling console game, currently retails for $49.94 on Amazon. That's a ten-dollar difference for a game with no in-game fees and the ability to unlock all 48 racers without additional fees. Plus, players who are already subscribed to Mario Kart Tour's ridiculous $4.99 monthly subscription are only five dollars away from the fifty dollar Switch price.
When Mario Kart Tour dropped two weeks ago, fans and critics immediately slammed the game's greedy microtransactions. Despite impressive download numbers, all were unanimous on the overpriced add-on's and fees Nintendo's latest "free-to-play" mobile game had hidden in a long-awaited entry in the beloved Mario Kart franchise.
So, why the lofty pricing? Nintendo has yet to comment. One thing's clear, though: at this pricing rate, you're probably better off just buying a Switch and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The controls are way better anyway.