Nintendo’s big new surprise interactive experience for the Switch is now official, and it’s basically a maker kit for the portable console that uses cardboard component pieces to allow people to build a range of different creations and play with them using the console to power games that interact with the DIY components.
NintendoLabo is like a next-level LEGO, with kits that let you do things like build working pianos that interact directly with Switch software, and even make your own robots. Nintendo shows off an interactive fishing game with a real, build-it-yourself cardboard fishing rod you can use to catch stuff in-game, and a rolling bot you can remote-control with the Switch’s touchscreen, as just a couple of examples.
It actually looks super fun, and there’s a variety kit and a robot kit coming out on April 20, 2018, with pricing starting at $69.99, which seems like a deal for the level of interactivity and creativity that’s available with these things. The Labo kits include all the cardboard pieces you need to build the projects they contain, as well as the Switch software necessary to run the interactive digital elements.
Nintendo is also selling Labo customization kits for $10 that will ship at the same time, and provide stencils, stickers and tape that allow you to customize the creations so your cardboard robot backpack looks different from everyone else’s cardboard robot backpack.
Kudos to Nintendo for once again ignoring the well-trod ground of putting more silicon and tech behind their gaming console ambitions, and instead striking out into the unknown of the weird and wacky. This looks like a really good time, and one that won’t necessarily result in a huge new source of waste plastic after people move on to the next thing.