How do you get gamers excited? Give them cardboard. This is no joke – just ask Nintendo.
The Japanese gaming tech giant’s new Labo is nothing more than a line of DIY cardboard accessories for the Nintendo Switch gaming system. Available this month, the cardboard kits include cut outs and other items that players put together and link up to their Joy-Con controllers and console display units.
The accessories created are known as Toy-Cons, and are designed to interact with software. The developer’s approach to gaming, one that emphasises playing and having fun more than it does fancy graphics and other effects, has arguably never been clearer than with the launch of the Labo platform. However, it must be said that the new products are not just about having fun – they are also intended to be used as programming, engineering, and physics educational tools.
Nintendo Labo Basics
The idea behind the new platform is a simple one. After getting all crafty with building and decorating their chosen Toy-Con using crayons, pens, and whatever else they fancy, players then place one or more Joy-Con controllers as well as the Nintendo Switch display unit in it.
Functionality varies from kit to kit, which offers players a variety of video gaming experiences. In addition to buying Labo kits, players can also use the included Toy-Con Garage software to design, create, and programme Toy-Cons of their own. If players choose this option, they can either adapt one of the existing kits, or they can experiment with materials of their choice.
A Look at the Garage
The Nintendo Labo Toy-Con Garage provides players with endless opportunities for truly creative gaming. The best part about it is that it is easy to use.
Players can connect customisable output and input nodes to form simple commands, and they can modify inputs using middle nodes. Among the output options available on the platform are ways in which the display lights up, as well as Joy-Con controllers vibrating.
You do not need to keep your Garage-made kits simple, because you can use combinations of multiple commands to design advanced Toy-Cons. Among those options is being able to set the control stick sensitivity. The possibilities are incredible. For example, if you love playing casino games, you could hone your Labo skills, make a Toy-Con casino kit of your own, and find a whole new way in which to enjoy their thrills.
Initial Labo Kits
Nintendo has every intention of making a big thing of the launch of its new Labo platform, and is determined to give players choice from the very beginning. The kits planned for the launch include the afore-mentioned Robot and Piano kits, as well as Motorcycle, RC Car, and Fishing Rod kits.
The most advanced of all the kits is the Robot Toy-Con, which comes with a suit with movement-controlling arm and leg straps, a visor for first-person gaming, customisable bolts, and more. The kit also has the Robot Studio mode so you can interact with the real world the way a robot would.
The Piano Toy-Con lets players use the Joy-Con’s HD rumble for composing, recording, and playing back music. If you have ever dreamed of being a conductor, this is your chance – you can even use the Joy-Con like a conductor’s baton to influence the volume and tempo of your composition during playback.
The most basic of all the Nintendo Labo kits, the RC Car uses IR sensors and a video feed to send footage to the console and to track certain objects. The platform may just be one of the most exciting things to happen to video games this year.