Nintendo have revealed their latest release and it’s a lot less high-tech than you might expect.
This unique concept introduces a new way to play with the Nintendo Switch console; a range of DIY cardboard toys, called Nintendo Labo, that allow Nintendo Switch users the option to customise their playing experience.
When is it available?
Nintendo Labo will be available from 27th April 2018 in the UK, a week later than the USA where it will be released on 20th April 2018.
How does it work?
In the pack these Toy-Cons come in the form of a selection of templated cardboard sheets, rubber bands, string and eyelets, which you then need to construct in order to create a range of playable objects. The amount of time these take to build is dependant on how complicated the Toy-Con is, but they all involve folding the cardboard pieces that you pop out from the template and attaching them together.
Once constructed, they are brought to life with the Switch console or the Joy-Con controllers, which slot into the model and make use of motion-control, rumble and/or the infrared sensor.
For example, the Piano Toy-Con uses infrared stickers that are stuck onto the back of the keys, which move into view of the infrared sensor when pressed. This causes the Switch console, that rests on the top of the Toy-Con, to play the correct note.
What comes in a kit?
Nintendo are offering a choice of 2 different ‘Toy-Con’ Kits; the Variety Kit and the Robot Kit. With the Variety Kit you can create 5 different Toy-Con: a remote control car, a fishing rod, a house, a motorbike and a piano.
The Robot Kit allows you to create yourself a robot costume, including a cardboard backpack, visor and wrist straps, allowing you to use your body to control your movements in the game.
Make, Play, Discover.
The Nintendo Labo is focussed on three key characteristics: make, play, and discover. The ‘make’ aspect being the initial construction of the Toy-Con and the ‘play’ being the interactive experience once it has been brought to life with the Joy-Con controller and the Switch console.
The ‘discover’ is an interesting and unique touch that Nintendo have added. Once you have built your Toy-Con, you are given a ‘discover’ section that teaches the basics of how the cardboard model you have just built becomes a functional game controller. This is a great way of encouraging children to learn about digital technologies such as motion-control and infrared cameras.