Nintendo rides coming to Universal theme parks

An advertisement of Japanese video game giant Nintendo at an electronic shop in Tokyo on May 7, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP 
An advertisement of Japanese video game giant Nintendo at an electronic shop in Tokyo on May 7, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP 

SINGAPORE - A real-life Mario Kart race or a Legend of Zelda ride?

Fans of Nintendo -, and theme parks - are in for a thrill because Japan's No. 1 video game maker Nintendo will be teaming up with Universal Parks & Resorts to create the world's first-ever theme park attractions based on its beloved games and characters.

Announcing this in a press release on Thursday, Nintendo said the partnership will allow Universal to create "spectacular, dedicated experiences based on Nintendo's wildly popular games, characters and worlds" and that the "immersive experiences" will include major attractions at Universal's theme parks.

Nintendo did not disclose a timeline for its plans, saying "more details will be announced in the future, as the Nintendo and Universal creative teams work to create specific concepts.

Universal currently has theme parks in Singapore, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Japan, with new projects announced for South Korea (on hold), Dubai (also on hold), Moscow and Beijing.

While there was no word on which theme parks will be getting the new Nintendo lands or attractions, media reports speculated that Japan was the most obvious and Universal owned enough land in Orlando to start up a third park next to Islands of Adventure and Universal Orlando.

Nintendo's them park announcement came on the heels of its earnings report, which saw the company turn its first annual profit since 2011, thanks to a weak yen and stronger Wii U console sales.

The "Super Mario" creator reported a 41.8 billion yen (S$460 million) net profit for the fiscal year to March - reversing a 23.2 billion yen loss a year ago - but revenue slipped 3.8 per cent to 549.8 billion yen.

Nintendo also forecast that a lower 35 billion yen net profit this fiscal year, although operating profit was set to double.