Nintendo has been on a bit of a roll of it lately with the Switch selling record numbers and many of its games sweeping the various Video Games Awards at the end of last year. This year it seems to be targeting the customisable creative kit market with the reveal of Nintendo Labo. The Labo involves DIY cardboard accessories that transform the Switch's Joy-Con controllers and screen into everything from a piano to a motorbike to a fishing rod. Alongside the games cartridge it offers a new way for players to interact with their games.
The kits shown so far vary in size and complexity, similar to how there are different scales of Lego sets available, but offer enough customisable options for creative types to alter, improve and even make their own designs. In the same way that many experienced VR first through Google Cardboard this could be the first full VR experience with arm and leg movement for many and all at a relatively low cost of $80! It isn't intended to be a high power solution to full body immersive VR gaming but could offer people interested in that area a taste of the possibilities at a good entry price point.
As a teacher this is really exciting as there are so many possibilities available, whether its creating new toys, robot or forming a new way to interact with games. Even more exciting is the possibility that there could be a game making tool, similar to maybe Wario Ware, to teach children to code and create interactive designs. The idea that you could create anything for the price of cardboard is exciting. With the right execution and engagement of the Etsy et al. community Labo could be something with a long term future.
Nintendo Labo is slated to be released for the Switch on April 20th and will retail for around $70. I for one am excited to see what it will do for the video game industry.