OSAKA -- Theme park Universal Studios Japan (USJ), located in this western Japan city's Konohana Ward, has revealed part of its new attractions themed on Nintendo Co. characters including Super Mario, on Jan. 14.
"Super Nintendo World" is currently mooted to open at USJ ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in summer 2020 as part of efforts to pull in more international punters. It is set to feature Nintendo video game characters and worlds; the section revealed to the public will allow visitors to use a special phone app and a connected smartwatch to collect coins and other objects while experiencing the Mario game world.
Jean-Louis Bonnier, CEO of USJ's operations firm, said he was happy to be opening the area during a year when attention will be on Japan for the Tokyo Games, and that he hoped people would look forward to it.
In 2014, USJ opened a section themed on the "Harry Potter" films after around three years of construction at the cost of around 45 billion yen (about $409 million). The firm invested some 60 billion yen in the latest project, which features a large area with eateries, souvenir stores and attractions.
While Nintendo is currently building two more areas themed on its intellectual properties in parks in the United States, the USJ Super Nintendo World will be the world's first. Nintendo has entered the venture in an attempt to improve sales of its games, and to strengthen its character branding business.
(Japanese original by Mihoko Kato and Kenta Suzuki, Osaka Business News Department)