Technology

Nintendo Labo shows how serious the Switch is about off-screen fun

Nintendo Labo shows how serious the Switch is about off-screen fun

Nintendo is bringing a whole new kind of gaming experience into the world in the form of Nintendo Labo, a system of DIY cardboard accessories for the Switch console. These include the Robot Kit (players can build their own cardboard robot) and the Variety Kit (including an RC vehicle, a piano, a fishing rod, a house, and a motorbike), but the announcement trailer for the Labo hinted at several future Toy-Cons kits too. After putting it together, users can press the cardboard keys, and musical notes come out of the console. The Nintendo Labo Robot Kit ($79.99) includes the software and the ingredients to build a "cool robot suit", which looks more like a bulky backpack and head visor.

"A lot of the history of gameplay, up until this point, has been people looking at a screen, not necessarily seeing the facial expression and the body language of the person next to them", Yoshiaki Koizumi, deputy general manager of Nintendo's planning and development division, told me shortly before the Switch launched in March 2017.

And then this is available in the Robot Kit. Because each accessory is cardboard and comes with easy to follow instructions, kids can make them with or without adult supervision. If you live in NY or San Francisco, Nintendo is putting on 3-hour Labo Studio hands-on events - but you can only attend by bringing a 6-12 year old kid. Well, Nintendo Labo is exactly like that, but the accessories are made of cardboard, and it includes all sorts of different physical interfaces, not just a steering wheel. This means, unlike a conventional games controller, they can become a tool for other types of play. You can customize the Toy-Cons however you want.

With Nintendo Labo, building is just as much fun as playing.

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Absolutely fire, and for an additional $10 you can purchase customization kits as you saw in the video below allowing your kid to make their Labo creations even more unique.

"You guys see Nintendo Labo?".

That gun peripheral is decidedly less kid-friendly than the other Toy-Con models, but it could be used for ports of first-person shooter games. Now, the company has announced a new experiment for the latter handheld/console hybrid, one that involves inserting the device into pieces of cardboard to create accessories for controlling mini-games.

Labo will meet its intended audience for the first time next month, when Nintendo Labo Studio kicks off. For example, the bug-looking auto will only take about 15 minutes to build, but something more detailed like the piano will run you more towards two hours. To properly understand what this is all about, it's probably best if you watch the video above.


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