One of the biggest additions to Mario Kart 7 is the ability to change up your racer to suit the surroundings: big tyres, little tyres, that sort of thing. That's not to say that everyone within Nintendo was keen on including customisation though, with gaming genius Shigeru Miyamoto revealing he was against it initially.
Speaking to Famitsu (translated by 1up), Miyamoto said he didn't think winning money to buy new parts was in line with what makes Mario Kart fun:
I was actually pretty well against some of the customization features of the game, though. It can be fun to win money for racing and use it to buy parts and such, but I didn't think that had much to do with the core fun of the series. The idea for that came from the studio staff, though, and my final response was 'If you can build this customization on top of a solid control and gameplay foundation, then go ahead.'"
Seems the team was able to keep it all together, as Miyamoto relented and allowed the new feature to take centre stage in MK7.
If Miyamoto doesn't believe customisation is the big appeal of Mario Kart 7, then what is? Here he explains:
The core of Mario Kart is pretty solid by this point and I think it's safe to have it evolve in a pretty staid and traditional manner. The basic message here is 'Mario Kart's been powered up for the Nintendo 3DS,' and I think the online upgrades in particular are pretty neat. A lot of time was spent on how to get all the individual components working together — Wi-Fi and Street Pass, local and Internet play.
We'll see how they come together when it's released in two weeks. Here's a recent trailer in the meantime.