Nintendo has announced their latest innovation, Nintendo Labo, an interactive line of build-and-play model kits that work in conjunction with the Nintendo Switch.
The kits are aimed at players looking to build and create their own experiences on Nintendo’s console. Modular sheets of cardboard are used in combination with the Switch and the Joy-Con controllers to create anything from pianos to motorbikes, encouraging users to construct interactive models known as Toy-Cons.
The models work by using the infrared camera on the Switch and the Joy-Con controllers to simulate the experience of playing the piano or racing the motorbike, and the Robot Kit even allows users to build a suit of virtual armour and stomp around the in-game world as a giant robot. Users are encouraged to experiment as well as use markers, paint, stickers, and stencils to customize and decorate their creations.
Nintendo Labo will launch with two versions available, the Variety Kit and the Robot Kit, on April 20th. Each kit will contain a variety of different models to build as well as the appropriate software for the Switch.
- 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!
- 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.
“Nintendo Labo continues our longstanding mission of making people smile by surprising them with new experiences,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s President and COO. “It is an exciting evolution of the Nintendo Switch platform – one designed to inspire curiosity, creativity and imagination in people of all ages.”
Nintendo has released a video detailing their latest invention, and more information on the kits can be found on the website.