After a number of years of trailing Sony and Microsoft in the console gaming race, when it had once been a pillar of industry battling against Sega instead, venerable Japanese company Nintendo definitely deserved the win they got by introducing the Switch hybrid game system in 2017. Part console, part portable, all solid gaming fun, the Nintendo Switch far outstripped the entire lifetime sales of its disappointing predecessor the Wii U, in only a year. Part of the Switch’s appeal has been its Labo system, featuring specialized game titles that work with hand-assembled cardboard accessories to simulate revolutionary gaming experiences.
Following its notable success with games that made use of the Switch Joy-Con controllers attached to cardboard motorcycle handlebars, fishing rods, piano keyboard and even robot arms, the child-friendly Nintendo Labo gaming-construction system receives a new addition according to The Verge. This new Labo kit comes across as Nintendo’s soft challenge to the dedicated VR tech platforms, as it involves the usual cardboard accessories that can convert the Switch unit and Joy-Cons into a VR visor. Labo Toy-Con 4: VR Kit is an expansive cardboard collection with a variety of accessories for playing in and experiencing VR with the Switch.
The Labo VR Kit comes in two versions. A Starter Kit includes the cardboard parts to assemble a basic VR headset and “blaster,” the former for straight VR viewing and the latter for use in VR first-person shooting games. Mini-games utilizing the two accessories are included. The full Labo VR Kit has in addition to the visor and blaster, two headsets patterned after a camera, a bird and elephant, each with their own Switch VR software. Like past Labo kits, the software includes interactive building instructions and the “Labo Garage” programming suite to develop original mini-games using the Labo accessories.
Nintendo of America’s new president, the humorously-named Doug Bowser (same as King Bowser of the Koopas, big bad of the “Super Mario” franchise), shared a statement regarding what the company wants to impart to buyers with the Labo VR Kit. “We wanted to design an experience that encourages both virtual and real-world interactions among players through passing around Toy-Con creations.”
Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 4: VR Kit in all its variants will be released on April 12. The full kit is priced at $79.99 while the basic kit is only $39.99; for the latter, separate sub-kits containing the camera, elephant and bird accessories plus software, are available later at $20 each.
Images from Ubergizmo and GameRevolution