By Ishaan . November 29, 2011 . 9:00am
Mario Kart 7 has a great “Community” feature that we’ve talked about before. The basic concept of it is that it allows one to create an online Mario Kart 7 group from within the game. Once you’ve decided on a name for your group, you get a 14-digit code, which you can share with other players.
Players that have this code can input it into Mario Kart 7 and use it to become members of your community. Once they’ve done this, they’ll be able to play against other members of your community over the Internet without having to exchange Friend Codes with each of them individually. It’s effectively a way of making it easier for players to gather and play online together with people familiar to them.
Before it made its way into Mario Kart 7, this concept of allowing players to gather together online was supposed to be part of the Nintendo 3DS system itself. Mario Kart 7 director, Kosuke Yabuki reveals: “At first, we wanted to include a feature where friends could gather like this directly on Nintendo 3DS, but schedule-wise it was tight and wouldn’t fit. So I said, ‘I’ll do it with Mario Kart 7.’”
Setting up communities in Mario Kart 7 is a fairly simply process, and I just set one up for Siliconera earlier today. You can choose a name for your community and what speed class the community’s races will be (I picked 150CC for Siliconera’s community). You can also choose to limit the types of items that will appear in races to, say, Bananas, but I didn’t do this. We’ll reveal the Siliconera community code once the game releases.
The reason Mario Kart 7 is so closely tied to the features of the Nintendo 3DS is because both products were supervised by the same person. Nintendo’s Hideki Konno supervised development of the 3DS, and he’s also the producer of the Mario Kart series. Konno also manages the Nintendogs franchise.
Now that Mario Kart 7 is finished, perhaps Nintendo will consider allowing for further online communication with your friends via the Nintendo 3DS in a future firmware update. An mini-update installed by Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 already allows you to join a game your friend is playing from the 3DS’ Friends menu.