Universal's Super Nintendo World Will Use Wearable Tech To Turn A Real-Life Theme Park Land Into A Video Game

The first Super Nintendo Land is coming to Universal Studios Japan, and it is shaping up to be one of the most immersive and tech-forward theme park lands to date. Billed as "a life-size, living video game," Super Nintendo Land may be the closest theme park guests will get to being dropped in the middle of a Super Mario game — barring the part where you grow to the size of a giant, probably. And it's all thanks to new wearable tech.

Super Nintendo Land, which launches as part of Universal Studios Japan in the city of Osaka ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, features and unusual and exciting new piece of tech that will allow guests to enter the world of the video game. That technology comes in the form of wearable wrist bands called "Power Up Bands," which feature different Mario-themed designs, and will sync with a smartphone app and track digital activities as you walk around, according to Tokyo-based Bloomberg reporter Kurumi Mori, who attended a press event Tuesday celebrating the park's global kickoff.

The bands will allow guests to collect to collect digital coins and compete with other park attendees. The app will also feature a game-style overhead map which will allow guests to look for attractions and unlock achievements.  There aren't details yet on what those achievements or prizes will be, but it will likely be some Mario merchandise or Nintendo-themed rewards. The only confirmed attraction for the land thus far is a real-world Mario Kart attraction, which you can get a sneak peek of in the music video below. But the greatest reward may be finally getting to collect those coins in real life, like a life-sized Mario game character.

Thierry Coup, the chief creative officer of Universal Creative, the theme park design and R&D division of Universal Parks & Resorts also declared Super Nintendo World "a life-size, living video game."

Osaka will be the location of the first Super Nintendo Land, but it will soon be followed by companion Universal Parks sites in the U.S. — in Hollywood and Orlando — as well as Singapore, according to Coup. No timetable has yet been set for the land's Stateside arrival. But in the mean time, you can get hyped by watching the new music video from Galantis and Charli XCX, who collaborated to write the official Super Nintendo World theme song called "We Are Born to Play."