Ahead of this year’s Mario Day, Google has put the gaming character on its Maps app. This was announced just as Google and Nintendo announced a new partnership ahead of the event scheduled to hold on March 10.
“To celebrate our favorite mustachioed plumber-turned-racer on his special day—MAR10 Day—we’ve collaborated with the team at Nintendo to let Mario accompany you on all of your driving adventures on Google Maps this week,” Google announced on Friday.
First thing first, get the Maps app updated to the latest version from the Google Play Store or App Store. Then click on the yellow “?” icon at the bottom right corner of your Google Maps app on either Android or iOS. You will then see a prompt to enable Mario Time!
As soon as that is enabled, you will notice that the navigation arrow has morphed into Mario. Going forward, Mario will be your companion wherever you are driving this week—school, work, restaurant—anywhere.
The Mario update has started rolling out to users globally—Android and iOS users. The update could take sometime to show up on some devices, and if you haven’t seen it, then be patient, I am sure it won’t take a long time.
On Facebook, users will be able to use a free Mario-themed frame for their Facebook profile photo from March 10 [MAR10 Day] at 5 a.m. PT through March 12 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Nintendo announced that the frame will include iconic items from the Super Mario Bros. universe to any photo or image—and this will also be available inside the Messenger Camera.
You can find the frame in Messenger by opening the Messenger app, take a photo and then tap the smiley face icon. This special frame, according to Nintendo, will be the first one to appear in the top “Featured” section. You can then tap to add it to your photo.
As part of the celebration of MAR10 Day, Nintendo is partnering with Starlight Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization that specializes in touching the lives of seriously ill children by providing hospitalized kids with entertainment, education and innovative technology.
As part of the working relationship with Starlight Children’s Foundation, Nintendo will provide the latest designs for the foundation’s Starlight Brave Gowns.
“Mario puts a smile on everyone’s face, and we wanted our activities on MAR10 Day to reflect that,” said Don James, Executive Vice President of Operations Nintendo of America. “Whether a longtime fan or someone new to the world of Nintendo, Mario can power up anyone’s day.”
Even though adding Mario to Google Maps looks like a promotional stuff; especially with the agreement between bot companies, Google confirmed to TechCrunch that there was no exchange of money.
So, get your Google Maps updated to the latest version, and go out there and have some fun from tomorrow—and don’t forget to let us know how it feels like.