Nintendo is a company that prides itself on doing its own thing. There is a print in the company’s boardroom at its Kyoto headquarters which succinctly states their philosophy: make something unique. Keep that in mind as we look at the newest accessory for the Switch: the Nintendo Labo.
The Labo was announced today on the company’s website and and an accompanying YouTube video. It is a blending of Google Cardboard and all of those creative devices you see Raspberry Pi enthusiasts come up with. Players can buy a Labo kit and use the included pre-cut cardboard to create accessories that can interact with the Nintendo Switch.
It may be easier to explain with a visual aid.
See the Switch resting on that cardboard piano? You’ll be able to put the JoyCons on the side of that thing and then “play” the piano by pressing on the keys.
Or you can build a cardboard mock-up of a dirt bike’s handlebar complete with working throttle. There is a point to all of this – these cardboard devices paired with your JoyCons can be used to control games. Another example shown was a telescoping fishing pole with a reel that could turn. Each Labo kit will include software so you can play with your creations.
It doesn’t end there. While Labo is primarily intended for kids, there will be some advanced level kits for more intricate constructions. One kit will include a cardboard VR headset and a backpack filled with levers connected to rubber bands. Slide your Switch into the VR headset and play the role of a giant robot smashing buildings.
Because the accessories are primarily made from cardboard, you can even decorate them with stickers or paint or markers. Why not put some hot rod flames on that dirt bike handlebar?
Nintendo Labo will release on April 20th in two different packages. The variety pack will cost $69.99 and includes everything you need to make the dirt bike handlebar, an 11-key piano, a fishing pole, a house and two RC “cars”. The second pack is $79.99 and includes all of the pieces to make the robot suit and Headset. Both packs include software so you can play games with all of the constructs.
Watch the Nintendo Labo video here: