Nintendo’s “new interactive experience” was revealed as Labo, DIY-style cardboard toys.
Labo is the next evolution of toys-to-life, except instead of transforming toys into in-game characters, Labo lets players build their own toys.
With the help of the Switch Joy-Cons, players can create what Nintendo calls Toy-Cons, toys that can act as controllers for games, or as their own little experiences enhanced with the Switch. It’s a little hard to wrap your head around at first, but the concept shows a lot of potential.
This is done through cardboard pieces, which Nintendo will sell to players looking to build their own projects. Depending on the pieces, you can use the cutouts to assemble anything you imagine.
The first look trailer shows off several examples, but the simplest one is the piano. After building a piano with the perforated cardboard pieces, players can insert the Switch Joy-Cons onto both sides, and the screen at the top. The IR camera in the right Joy-Con will detect what button is being pressed, and allow the Switch to play the correct musical keys when piano buttons are pressed.
You can build a working piano with up to 13 keys, but the projects can get even more elaborate. For instance, you can make an RC car. It works the same way: just attach the Joy-Cons to the specified slots and use the software running on Switch to control it. The HD Rumble is enough to move it around.
The same can be applied to a fishing rod, and a robot apparatus that lets you control an in-game robot. Instructions for building the various sets will be available on the Switch screen, for easier access.
Labo launches April 20 in the US, and April 27 in the UK.
At launch, Nintendo will sell two Toy-Con kits. The first, called the Variety Kit, can be used to create five projects. It’s priced $70. Then there’s the Robot Kit, which lets you build robot suit to use as a controller. It’s priced $80.
Finally, there’s the customisation set which comes with two stencil sheets, two sticker sheets, and two tape rolls. Al three kits will be available alongside Labo on launch day.