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Mario and Sonic head to the 2016 Rio Olympics in March

On Nintendo 3DS, at least

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Mario, Sonic and their closest friends will kick off their latest fight for Olympic gold this March, when Mario & Sonic at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games hits Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo of America confirmed the portable game's launch date — March 18 — today, adding that the Wii U version of the game will hit "later this year."

In the real world, the 2016 Summer Olympic Games doesn't begin until August, meaning Mario and Sonic will have plenty of lead time on real-life athletes.

Mario & Sonic at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games is the fifth Olympic collaboration between Nintendo and Sega. The series started in 2007 with Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games for Wii and Nintendo DS. This year's game features the likes of Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Birdo, Knuckles, Tails, Robotnik and Shadow competing in beach volleyball, rugby, soccer and more.

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