Nintendo has done it again: It has come up with something unique that hasn’t been done before. This time it’s what it calls the Nintendo Labo, a DIY cardboard kit that lets you create different accessories such as fishing rods and cars.
Nintendo is known for its different approach to gaming than its competitors. While companies like Sony and Microsoft are focused on trying to match the PC in terms of performance, Nintendo goes after the fun aspect of things. Over the years, Nintendo has released different consoles that have been different from the mainstream market.
These consoles have always offered something different. Nintendo is sometimes the trendsetter, for example, their Wii console set the trend that allowed the Xbox Kinect to exist. Perhaps the Nintendo Labo will also encourage a new wave of DIY accessories.
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What is the Nintendo Labo?
The Labo is a set of cardboard kits that can be used to create different things such as a fully functional 13-key piano or a car. Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima calls “new ways of playing”. At the heart of everything is the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo’s latest “tablet console”.
The Switch is known for its portability due to its small size and the fact it’s joy-con controllers can be removed from the sides.
The Labo is made for kids, according to Nintendo ranging from 6 to 12. Once you make your contraption using the cardboard, the joy-con controllers can be fitted inside them and can be made to work. The tablet then acts as an arcade as you can use these accessories to play mini-games. For example, you create a fishing rod. You can use this fishing rod to catch fish in a fishing mini-game displayed on the tablet. The kit comes in two different versions too.
One is the ‘Variety’ kit and one is the ‘Robot’ kit. The Robot kit is even cooler as it folds to become a cardboard exo-suit for your child to wear. Once worn, your child acts as a Robot in a game and the entire thing is just mindblowing. It’s like VR but without the expensive VR setup.
How does it work?
It really is fascinating to think how those small joy-con controllers can seemingly bring cardboard creations come to life. Nintendo utilizes the currently less used features of the controller to make this work. The controller’s IR camera reads the internal workings of the contraption, such as the piano keyboard in this case. It then translates the inputs (the piano notes in this case) into the console component. It really makes one question regarding the full potential of these small yet versatile controllers.
The actual process of making the accessories through the cardboard might seem tough but it isn’t. Once you order your desired kit from Nintendo, you’ll receive the cardboard needed to assemble the kit as well. The $70 Variety kit includes 5 different “Toy-Con projects” that you can make which include things like the fishing rod, piano, a motorbike etc.
Your Switch console screen will give you precise step-by-step instructions on how to perfectly create your toy-con. It’s a pretty simple process and could be a bit educational for children too.
The possibilities of the type of games to come out with this are endless as well. There could be a ton of educational mini-games that could be made using the Labo project. This can revolutionize how kids are taught by giving them a more hands-on learning experience than ever before. Interested parents can find out as Nintendo will be hosting several Labo events to showcase its latest project.
Nintendo has surprised everyone yet again with the Labo. With two of the Nintendo Labs games being launched on April 20, this is just the beginning. It could be the start of a new wave of technology thanks to Nintendo. You can check out the Labo and order from here.