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SYFY WIRE Nintendo

How Universal Studios is using new tech to put guests in the game at 'Super Nintendo World'

The Power-Up Band is the digital portal into the next level at Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Hollywood.

By Tara Bennett

With the official grand opening of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood on Feb. 17 just a short month away, the new land within the theme park has already started technical rehearsals. Plus, Annual Pass previews will run from Jan. 29 to Feb. 11, which means the digital mechanics within the new land are already in play. While the joy of walking into the new area through a pipe will be a universal experience, once you're inside the park, you can partake in its thrills in two ways: analog or digitally immersive using The Power-Up Band.

If you choose analog, the park will open itself up to you at face value. The characters, photo ops, food at Toadstool's Cafe and the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge ride will be an exciting "what you see is what you get" experience. But if you buy one of the Power-Up Bands, a whole other digital experience will also be accessible when you sync your band to the Universal Studios App. Fans of the Mario characters can choose from six different band options: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Toad and Princess Daisy. And your choice of band/character will automatically make you part of that Team every time you visit the land.  

How you help yourself, and your Team, throughout your visit is by using the band to collect digital coins via all the interactive spaces and challenges sprinkled throughout Super Nintendo World. By scanning your band on Question boxes, over embedded "M" logos and signing into challenges stations, your coin total will increase. The App, or Checkpoint stations inside the land, will give you real time updates on how your personal score is growing and how your overall Team score is doing throughout that day.

Bands can even sync to Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge to track digital coins collected during the ride and to see how you stacked up to friends and family you can connect to your band via the App. There's also an incentive to keep playing as the band will automatically unlock additional gameplay activities and experiences, like collecting digital coins and stamps when completing milestones within the land. You can even have an enhanced experience if you take your photo with Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach while wearing your band.

As we learned during our recent SYFY WIRE tour, your band points and experience will accrue every time you visit. There's no starting from zero unless you do a hard reset. So just like any other video game, getting better and rising up the ranks is part of the Super Nintendo World experience too.

If you aren't visiting until the Grand Opening or after, note that Power-Up Bands will be available for purchase, beginning Feb. 17, at Super Nintendo World retail shops located in the theme park and on CityWalk. 

Need more Mario in your life? The Super Mario Bros. Movie hits theaters April 7. And if you're a fan of other Universal Studios Hollywood themed lands like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, get in the mood for a visit by watching flicks like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Parts I and II, now streaming on Peacock.