Mario Kart TV lets you replay favorite races on your smartphone

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Nintendo refuses to bring its immensely popular games to smartphones and tablets for fear of damaging its own hardware sales, but the Japanese gaming giant isn’t against building mobile companion apps. The much-anticipated Mario Kart 8 will be accompanied by Mario Kart TV for Android and iOS, allowing players to replay their favorite races, view screenshots, and share gameplay with their friends.

The Mario Kart franchise is one of Nintendo’s most successful, and there’s no doubt that Mario Kart 8 will become one of the Wii U’s biggest games. You’ve only got to spend a few minutes on gaming forums or the Wii U subreddit to get a feel for how many people intend Nintendo’s latest console just for this game.

As a Wii U owner, I can’t wait for it. I got my console the day it was released in the U.K., but it’s been used nowhere near as much as I had anticipated. I’ve played through a couple of Super Mario titles and Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, but it hasn’t been used for much else, unfortunately.

The replay value that comes with a game like Mario Kart will surely change that — and give Nintendo a rare presence on Android and iOS for the first time. With the Mario Kart 8 companion app, players will be able to watch gameplay footage and replays of their favorite races, and then share those replays with their friends on YouTube and via social networks.

The app will also allow players to view track leaderboards and see how they rank against their friends.

This is certainly not what we we’ve been hoping for from Nintendo — we want to see Super Mario, Pokémon, Zelda, and the rest of its franchises in proper smartphone and tablet games. But this is all we’re going to get, and for Mario Kart 8 players, it’s definitely a nice addition.

Nintendo hasn’t confirmed a release date for Mario Kart TV yet, but with Mario Kart 8 hitting Wii U on May 30, we expect it to drop around the same time.

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