Earlier this week, Nintendo had people on the edge of their seats when they began to tease a new “interactive experience” announcement. Finally, the news came at 5 pm EST on Wednesday. The big announcement? Cardboard. While that may seem underwhelming, Nintendo has once again proved their immense creativity and the ability to do much with little. Nintendo Labo, as the new interactive experience for the Switch is called, consists of cardboard DIY kits (called Toy-Cons) that completely transform the Switch experience.
With these cardboard kits, users can transform their Switch into a fishing pond, a piano, or a house. Want a full-on robot suit? Nintendo Labo can help you build one. It may sound ludicrous that one could do so much with just cardboard accessories, but it’s the kind of ingenuity that could only come from Nintendo. The maker kits allow users to build around the Switch console, allowing access to a variety of mini-games depending on the kit, essentially turning the Switch into an endless arcade game.
“Labo is unlike anything we’ve done before,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé. But really, a creative move like this seems right up Nintendo’s alley. While Sony and Microsoft spent last year updating their current consoles with the XBOX One X and PS4 Pro, Nintendo revolutionized in-home and on-the-go gaming with the Switch.
Make, play, and discover. Those are the three pillars of Labo. Each kit comes with a cartridge for the Switch, which displays a set of instructions for how to build the robot, bird, race car, or whatever you’re building (seriously, the options look endless).
In an age where video games have largely focused on single player stories or expansive online play, it’s refreshing to see something this physically interactive; something that pulls players away from the screen and back into the world. It allows players to embrace imagination and build something themselves. It’s also perfect for parents who don’t want their children to be completely glued to the television. And, of course, it all looks fun. Who doesn’t want to put on a robot suit and run through a city? While the target market for Labo is kids, many of the cardboard accessories could appeal to players of all ages.
And finally, Labo allows players to discover a whole other side of gaming. By building it themselves, players learn how all the pieces come together to create an amazing interactive experience. The platform helps teach users the basics of how things work. When the creation process is complete, the Switch can display a full 3D model of the Toy-Con, showing exactly how the controller interacts with the accessories to create the experience. For example, in the case of the piano, the Joy-Con controllers are able to read the keys so that it knows which ones are being pressed. It then relays that information to the Switch. It looks to be a simple, yet effective, way to teach kids the basics of engineering, cameras, and everything else that goes into making a Toy-Con. Available on April 20, 2018, for $69.99, Nintendo Labo is sure to revolutionize gaming.
Featured Image Courtesy of Nintendo