Universal is no stranger to wearable tech. If you visit Universal's Volcano Bay, you'll need to wear a Tapu Tapu device on your wrist, which allows you to use the park's virtual queue to experience attractions. However, though reactions to this device have been decidedly mixed, it looks like guests at Universal parks around the world will be getting another wearable device, this time as part of the forthcoming Super Nintendo Land
Introducing Power-Up Bands
It's hard to believe, but the first Super Nintendo Land is almost finished at Universal Studios Japan, and will be opening later this year right before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This new, immersive land promises to be “a life-size, living video game,” complete with blockbuster attractions, familiar landmarks such as Bowser’s Castle, Peach’s Castle, and Toad’s House, all while recreating the look of a Super Mario Bros game level, complete with Piranha Plants, question blocks, coins, and warp pipes. And now we know that there will be a new component that will help guests feel like they are living their own video game adventure: Power-Up bands
These wearable wrist bands will be available for purchase on opening day of this new land, and will sync with the Universal Studios Japan smartphone app to track digital activities as guests experience different attractions in the land. The bands will store an in-world "digital coin" currency that guests will earn as they unlock achievements as they explore, making them a part of this video game world. Examples of things guests can do with their Power Up Bands in this new land include:
- Hitting a real-life Question Block and collecting coins
- Completing missions to get character stamps (which are worth a set amount of points)
- Compete in “Key Challenges” by collecting a certain number of digital “keys,” and teaming up with other guests to play “Boss Battles,” against various enemy characters.
The Power Up Bands will be available at launch with designs based on the following characters: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Toad, and Yoshi. Of course, new characters will likely be added in the future so guests can continue to customize their experience, but right now these are the only characters available, and there doesn't seem to be any benefit of purchasing one character band over the other.