In a rather interesting turn of events, Nintendo announced something a bit different than normal. We thought we would get news about a game or app for kids, but instead, Nintendo announced Nintendo Labo!
Nintendo sent out a press release shortly after the announcement with some more details. Nintendo Labo kits come with modular sheets of cardboard, specially designed to interact with the Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con controllers. You can turn the cardboard into creations called Toy-Con. From a piano to a motorbike, a robot and more.
For example, you can build a functioning 13-key piano that brings your musical creations to life once the Nintendo Switch console and Right Joy-Con controller are inserted. As you play, the IR Motion Camera in the Right Joy-Con detects which keys are pressed and translates them into unique notes that are heard through the console. There are many more possibilities with each kit!
In the press release, Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s President and COO, said the following, “Nintendo Labo continues our longstanding mission of making people smile by surprising them with new experiences. It is an exciting evolution of the Nintendo Switch platform – one designed to inspire curiosity, creativity, and imagination in people of all ages.”
There are 2 kits – The Variety Kit and Robot Kit.
Variety Kit ($69.99)
- Toy-Con RC Car: Insert the Left and Right Joy-Con into your newly built RC Car and control its movement using touch screen controls on the Nintendo Switch console. The HD Rumble feature in the Joy-Con controllers will cause vibrations that move the car in the direction you choose. Materials to construct two RC Cars are included.
- Toy-Con Fishing Rod: Construct the Fishing Rod with an active, rotating reel that is attached by string to a cradle holding the Nintendo Switch console. Catch one of many exotic fish shown swimming on the Nintendo Switch screen by casting your Fishing Rod and unwinding the reel to lower the hook. Once you feel a vibration from the Joy-Con inserted in the reel, you must tug the Fishing Rod upward and crank the reel quickly to try and complete the catch!
- Toy-Con House: By inserting various assembled blocks into openings in the sides and bottom of the House, you can interact with, play games with and feed a cute creature on the front-facing Nintendo Switch screen. Each differently shaped block is detected by the IR Motion Camera on the Right Joy-Con inserted on top of the House.
- Toy-Con Motorbike: Insert each Joy-Con into an assembled set of handlebars to drive a motorbike on the Nintendo Switch screen. Pressing the ignition button starts the engine while twisting the right handle activates the throttle. Leaning your body or turning the handlebars left and right controls the motorbike.
- Toy-Con Piano: After assembling a beautifully crafted 13-key piano and inserting the Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con, you can experiment with your own musical creations by pressing different keys. You can even insert different assembled knobs to create new sound effects and tones!
Robot Kit ($79.99)
- Toy-Con Robot: Create a wearable Robot suit, and insert the Left and Right Joy-Con into the designated slots on the backpack and visor to assume control of the robot, which is shown on the TV when the Nintendo Switch console is docked. Enjoy a variety of fun game-play experiences, including Robot mode, in which you can destroy in-game buildings and UFOs.
This is a very interesting move from Nintendo. I love that it will appeal to STEM students and adults. I honestly thought that Nintendo would stick with developing games and apps for the Switch since it is still a new console. Time will tell if this will sell to a wide audience.
Make sure to visit https://labo.nintendo.com for more information!
Is this something that interests you? Let us know in the comments!