Going on a virtual adventure just got a lot more exciting, thanks to Nintendo’s nifty new product. In April, the Japanese gaming conglomerate will launch the Nintendo Labo, a followup to the successful Nintendo Switch from last year.
The Nintendo Labo is not another device, though. It is a DIY cardboard kit meant to be outfitted with the Nintendo Switch controllers. Fishing rods? Remote-controlled cars? A piano? Check, check, and check.
It might seem gimmicky and childlike, yet the Nintendo Labo is anything but. This is just the first version of a sneak peek into Nintendo’s vision for gaming. Because when your audience gets tired of Mario and Zelda, the perennial question gets asked: What’s next? For Nintendo, that is cardboard.
The Labo’s philosophy is “Make/Play/Discover”. Each of the Labo’s kits contains cardboard planes that have parts for you to push out. All you have to do to join the pieces together by folding them along specific creases. The Switch’s touchscreen displays the instructions, and you can rotate it 360 degrees to see all angles. That sums up the “Make” portion.
“Play” comes when you actually pick up the completed kit and fire up your favourite game. For example, you could fish with the fishing rod or race with the motorbike.
Last, “Discover” is the process that encompasses all the former two philosophies. While building the various kits, you’ll get to explore how the controllers interact with the cardboard and understand the fundamentals of physics and engineering. The Nintendo Labo is not just about games and cardboard. It shows off the potential that future gaming devices could have, and stimulates the creativity of its players.
In a time where new technologies are launched every week, the Nintendo Labo is a refreshing take on a gaming corporation’s attempt at reinventing the gaming experience. It doesn’t require a user to learn how to navigate a device all over again. That is a true luxury in the world of tech.
The Nintendo Labo will be available come April 20th worldwide.