If you've seen footage of the new Mario Kart 7, you might have noticed a feeling of deja vu. The game has been keen to show off its new gliders and underwater sections, but in general it looks like a Mario Kart game. Apparently this is no accident; Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto acknowledges that the series formula is pretty static, and was content for this iteration to keep it that way.
"Mario Kart is a pretty stable series, all things considered, so production duties were chiefly handled by Hideki Konno while I mostly oversaw the complete picture," Miyamoto told Famitsu (via 1UP). "Sometimes people yelled at me to look at things more closely, but like I said, the core of Mario Kart is pretty solid by this point and I think it's safe to have it evolve in a pretty staid and traditional manner.
"The basic message here is 'Mario Kart's been powered up for the Nintendo 3DS,' and I think the online upgrades in particular are pretty neat. A lot of time was spent on how to get all the individual components working together -- Wi-Fi and Street Pass, local and Internet play."
Miyamoto says he mostly handled implementing the new additions, like hang-gliding and the online aspect. Even then, he was against the customization features, but left the decision ultimately to the team to make it a solid part of the gameplay foundation. He also notes that, "the way gliders fly isn't particularly faithful to real life, but I think it feels pretty good in action."
Yes, you read that right. That was Miyamoto, noting that the game about monkeys throwing rocket-powered turtle shells at dinosaurs in a go-kart race has unrealistic glider physics.