The Nintendo Switch had already eclipsed the Wii U in sales, and its momentum appears to be building. The flexible design is probably its greatest feature, and it can switch (pardon the pun) from a handheld and mobile game system to a full console in moments. This makes the Switch a device one that you can really get your hands on. And now Nintendo is taking that to the next level with the Nintendo Labo.
What is Nintendo Labo? Basically, it is a cardboard project kit that allows the user to create gaming accessories for the Nintendo Switch. By clever use of the device’s Joycon controllers, the cardboard creations can come to life while feeding an app playing on the console. The Joycon controller’s ability to sense movement and position is used in clever and creative ways in the cardboard kits, allowing imagination to soar.
Suddenly the Switch becomes a piano or a motorcycle, complete with handlebars, thanks to Nintendo Labo. The build instructions play right on the switch itself, and kits of varying complexity enable imagination to go into hyperdrive. The goal here is to extend the play into the physical world, and perhaps even get the user thinking about other possibilities. Currently, there are two kits planned, the Variety Kit and the Robot Kit.
The Variety Kit looks amazing, with such items to construct as a working piano, a fishing pole, motorcycle handle controller, and more. The Robot Kit, which looks more involved to construct, is a backpack unit that you build that allows you to control a robot using your arms.
I love the idea that the young user can get their hands on a project and really build something tangible. I would love to see more projects come out like this for other platforms, but Nintendo has really impressed me with approaching it now. The kits will start appearing at your local retailer starting in April.