Nintendo announced Nintendo Labo today, a brand new line of cardboard-based, interactive toys for the Switch. The Japan-based company finally launched their latest console system in 2017, the Nintendo Switch, earning virtually unanimous praise from critics and consumers alike. And the release of games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey only facilitated Nintendo’s success amidst the debuts of other top-tier gaming products. Just because they were successful in 2017, though, that doesn’t mean they’re taking a break in 2018.
In an age in which augmented reality and virtual reality devices and headsets are routinely poised to take over the gaming industry, Nintendo is looking to go in a different direction and put creativity back into the hands of the players with Nintendo Labo. The new build-and-play accessory line from Nintendo is meant to encourage people to build anything they can imagine using a system that provides the necessary kits to design such things. And today, the company has provided the first look at what exactly Labo entails.
Nintendo Labo is described as being a new line of “interactive build-and-play experiences designed to inspire kids and those who are kids-at-heart.” Each Nintendo Labo kit comes with standard sheets of cardboard that consumers can use to build Toy-Cons (anything from a motorbike to a piano), which people can then insert their Switch system and Joy-Con controllers into and use to create new, real-world experiences. You can watch the trailer for Nintendo Labo in the section above to get a better idea of what Nintendo’s new creation is.
Nintendo Labo will have two available Toy-Con kits at launch (with more expected to come at later dates): the Variety Kit ($69.99) and the Robot Kit ($79.99). The Variety Kit comes with enough material (cardboard) to construct two Toy-Con RC Cars, a Toy-Con Fishing Rod, a Toy-Con House, a Toy-Con Motorbike, and a Toy-Con Piano. The Robot Kit, on the other hand, only comes with enough material to assemble one Toy-Con Robot, a wearable robot suit outfitted with a visor and backpack that allows wearers to control the robot when the Switch and Joy-Cons are inserted.
Instead of pushing ahead with their own virtual reality headset, Nintendo believes in giving people the opportunity to create what they want with Nintendo Labo so that they can enhance their own gaming experiences using real-world creations, which is expected to “inspire curiosity, creativity, and imagination in people of all ages.” Nintendo Labo is slated to launch on April 20, 2018.
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