Nintendo’s got an unusual new project on the way.
Nintendo promised news on a new “experience” for Switch, and it has indeed delivered–albeit with a look at a strange new project called Nintendo Labo. It appears to be a sort of mini-game collection that involves creating real-life cardboard accessories that come with the game.
Details are still scant, but based on the debut trailer, you’ll take part in activities like fishing, playing piano, racing a bike, and wreaking havoc as a giant robot. This is all done by detaching the Joy-Cons from the Switch itself and using cardboard to construct the aforementioned accessories, which take the form of a fishing pole, piano, camera, and so on. Instructions for building these are provided on-screen.
Yes, you literally are purchasing a game and actual cardboard to create what Nintendo calls Toy-Cons. There are two separate bundles that have been announced: the Variety Kit ($70 USD/$100 AUD) and Robot Kit ($80 USD/$120 AUD), which are outlined below. They’ll both be available on April 20 in the US and Australia, or April 27 in Europe. European pricing has not been confirmed as of yet. A separate, $10 Customization Set includes stencils, stickers, and colored tape to help you design your Toy-Cons.
The official website for Labo talks about being able to customize your creations by painting them or affixing stickers to them, but more intriguing is a line about “dream[ing] up new ways to use your Toy-Con creations…and bring[ing] them to life.” It’s unclear if there will be a way to create original games in Labo or if Nintendo’s simply talking about waving the accessories around and using your imagination.
Those eager to try Labo out ahead of its launch will have the opportunity to do so in New York City or San Francisco, provided you can make it there and have a child 6-12 years old. You can submit an application to attend here.
Below, you’ll find the different things that can be built with each of the two announced packs, with descriptions provided by Nintendo.
Variety Kit ($70USD/$99.95AUD)
- Toy-Con RC Car: Insert the Left and Right Joy-Con into your newly built RC Car and control its movement using touch screen controls on the Nintendo Switch console. The HD Rumble feature in the Joy-Con controllers will cause vibrations that move the car in the direction you choose. Materials to construct two RC Cars are included.
- Toy-Con Fishing Rod: Construct the Fishing Rod with an active, rotating reel that is attached by string to a cradle holding the Nintendo Switch console. Catch one of many exotic fish shown swimming on the Nintendo Switch screen by casting your Fishing Rod and unwinding the reel to lower the hook. Once you feel a vibration from the Joy-Con inserted in the reel, you must tug the Fishing Rod upward and crank the reel quickly to try and complete the catch!
- Toy-Con House: By inserting various assembled blocks into openings in the sides and bottom of the House, you can interact with, play games with and feed a cute creature on the front-facing Nintendo Switch screen. Each differently shaped block is detected by the IR Motion Camera on the Right Joy-Con inserted on top of the House.
- Toy-Con Motorbike: Insert each Joy-Con into an assembled set of handlebars to drive a motorbike on the Nintendo Switch screen. Pressing the ignition button starts the engine, while twisting the right handle activates the throttle. Leaning your body or turning the handlebars left and right controls the motorbike.
- Toy-Con Piano: After assembling a beautifully crafted 13-key piano and inserting the Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con, you can experiment with your own musical creations by pressing different keys. You can even insert different assembled knobs to create new sound effects and tones!
Robot Kit ($80USD/$129.95AUD)
- Toy-Con Robot: Create a wearable Robot suit, and insert the Left and Right Joy-Con into the designated slots on the backpack and visor to assume control of the robot, which is shown on the TV when the Nintendo Switch console is docked. Enjoy a variety of fun game-play experiences, including Robot mode, in which you can destroy in-game buildings and UFOs.