Whatever your feeling on the Nintendo Switch, one thing is for sure; Nintendo are not planning on leaving things as they are. Recently the company unveiled an innovative addition to the Switch family in the form of Labo and the subsequent Toy-Con creations. For those who missed the press release, Nintendo Labo is a DIY cardboard kit that offers five different Toy-Con projects that children can build which will interact with the Switch itself.
Riding high off their recent Switch sales, Nintendo have rewritten the script in how a gaming company can expand their audience to the children’s market, rather than those who enjoy playing online slots for real money in Canada. There are a lot of questions surrounding Labo and its future, so here are a few key points:
What is Labo?
Labo is essentially a set of cardboard kits that will turn your Nintendo Switch into just about anything. The first pack comes with a set of Toy-Con creations including a fishing rod, a piano, a radio-controlled car and a set of motorbike handles. All this is created out of cardboard and will be turned into something that feels like the real thing. The idea is that Nintendo will continue releasing more and more interesting and intricate Toy-Cons over the course of the year while improving the user experience.
Upon purchasing the Nintendo Labo kit, you first have to assemble each Toy-Con individually. Simply pop the software into the Switch console and you will get your step-by-step assembly instruction in 3D. Once assembled, each Toy-Con can be used to play a number of minigames by attaching your Joy-Cons and or Switch to the cardboard toys. The software has a section for “Play” and one for “Discover”, giving kids plenty to explore and enjoy.
The RC Car
As mentioned above, the first Nintendo Labo variety pack comes with a number of Joy-Con cardboard cutouts that will entertain and surprise you. The most ingenious is perhaps the Toy-Con RC car. By slotting the two Joy-Cons into the sides of the cardboard cut-out, you can use the touchscreen to move the car around the house. The car moves by activating the rumble technology on the controls.
The ToyCon Fishing Rod and House
The fishing Rod is pretty self-explanatory. You set up the rod and use the fishing rod as an actual device to reel in fish in any number of included games on your Switch Screen. The Toy Con house is also fairly basic. Essentially what you are building here is a dolls house with an interactive door in which you can find cute little creatures that can develop and play with your child.
The Motorbike and Toy-Con Piano
The Toy Con motorbike handles are also pretty nifty. Here the Switch screen sits in the middle of the handlebars and creates a virtual racing game where the motion sensor picks up the movement in the cardboard bars and tracks accordingly.
The piano is possibly the most inventive of the lot. Here you can actually create a 13 key, fully-interactive piano. How it works is by using a reflective strip that the IR sensor on the Switch picks up and converts into a signal. This is then plugged into the software which creates music exactly like a real piano. There are even a few knobs and switches which you can use to adjust the sounds, effects and tones of the device.