Coming soon to a theme park near you: Mario, in all of his glory.

Nintendo and Universal Studios announced Thursday that they are partnering to put Nintendo-themed rides and characters into Universal theme parks. The companies didn't give a lot of detail, saying only that they will create "dedicated experiences" to Nintendo characters.

There are plenty of Nintendo titles that would transfer pretty easily into rides, however. Can't you just imagine playing Mario Kart with real go-karts? And, of course, there are plenty of virtual reality options as well; Nintendo's games have very distinctive worlds that haven't been diluted in the marketplace with licensing deals, meaning they have a deep well of unique characters and scenarios to pull from.

The deal falls in line with a recent Nintendo trend toward being more open to partnerships, rather than going it alone all of the time. That's encouraging to Nintendo fans, who have watched the company lose its footing a bit as it struggled to compete with Sony's PlayStation, Microsoft's Xbox and the rise of mobile games that ate into its portable gaming market.

Earlier this year, Nintendo also announced that it would work with DeNA gaming to develop smartphone titles, something the company had resisted in the past. And Nintendo has also evolved its relationships with outside game developers to put a wider variety of games on its consoles and handheld gaming devices.

It's also explored some new areas of late. Last year, it launched a line of figurines  -- called amiibo -- that interact with its video games but double as old-fashioned toys. Meanwhile, the firm continues to look at extending its success with fitness games into a full-fledged "quality of life" initiative that could tap into a growing interest in wearable devices that track your health.

There are some faint signs of a recovery. The company also announced Thursday that it's turned its first annual profit since 2011 -- reporting a profit margin of approximately $207 million.