Nintendo Is Returning To Virtual Reality With Its Next Switch Labo Kit
Nintendo Labo is a great, great time for, like, two weeks or so. At my place, the whole family joined in to build the first two sets - the Variety Pack, and the Robot - but after hardly any time at all, the novelty of the Actual Games that accompanied the genius cardboard designs had worn off. Today, the slightly-falling-apart contraptions - briefly so brilliant - are behind an armchair, looking very sad and wholly unloved.
Those kits came out in April 2018, and another, a Vehicle set that we didn't pick up, followed in September. It didn't really grab the interest after we'd all rather tired of the first couple. But now, Nintendo has announced a fourth (and fifth, and sixth) Labo set - and they see the company return to the world of virtual reality.
For those who missed it, Nintendo already dabbled in VR once, with the not-at-all-successful Virtual Boy console of 1995. With development led by Gunpei Yokoi, the chief designer of both the Game Boy and Nintendo's Game & Watch series, it looked odd for sure, but also like something special.
But the Virtual Boy was unanimously panned by those who played it. It received only 22 games in its incredibly short lifespan - just July 1995 to December in the same year, in Japan - and has gone down in history as Nintendo's most calamitous console launch.
These new Labo sets - a starter package with a blaster to build, an expansion kit with a camera and an 'elephant', and another featuring a bird and wind pedal to build - will release on 12 April. A single box featuring all the kits is also available.
But much like previous Labo sets, they're not going to come cheap, with the full shebang costing around $80 US according to Gizmodo, the standalone starter set $40, and the expansions $20 each. The software - i.e. the games to use these kits with - will only be packaged in the starter set, or complete package option. (UK pricing, TBC!)
All of the games to use the new Labo kit will also be playable in 2D. Says the official Nintendo website of the kits:
"The Starter Set + Blaster kit provides an action-packed introduction to the experience. You can then add to the fun with the Expansion Sets. Or, if you want an even broader experience right away, you can purchase the full Nintendo Labo VR Kit, which features six Toy-Con projects in one package."
I have no doubt that if I show my kids this, they'll go nuts for it. They love Nintendo, and they love messing around with the PSVR we have at home, so this is a marriage of two favourite things. But as the one who ponies up for games and that when need be, I'm going to hold off any pre-order action to see just what the VR software delivers, on this one. The last thing our cluttered house needs is even more cardboard stacked up in another corner.
Featured Image Credit: Nintendo