After last week’s surprising (or not-so-surprising) Nintendo Direct Mini, surely Nintendo had played their full hand for early 2018, right? Apparently not, as today Nintendo unveiled their new DIY peripheral initiative, Nintendo Labo.
Coming in two flavors (the Toy-Con 1 Variety Kit for $69.99 USD and the Toy-Con 2 Robot Kit for $79.99 USD), Nintendo Labo are essentially cardboard construction kits where you build your own pre-designed peripherals for the Switch console and/or the Joy-Cons. Each kit comes with a physical game cart with various mini games which take advantage of the Labo “hardware.” Also sold separately, for $9.99 USD, is a Customization Set that comes with stickers, stencils, and tape you can use to customize your Labo peripherals. In the “first look” video below, such objects as a fishing rod, a house, and a piano are shown off from the Variety Kit, and of course a giant robot suit can be built from the Robot Kit.
The Internet is understandably confused and somewhat divided on this, with jokes and memes already coming from today’s announcement:
Nintendo has its new solution for Switch Voice chat pic.twitter.com/WOdSKt1eBG
— CEO Kaz Hirai (@KazHiraiCEO) January 17, 2018
— Nibel (@Nibellion) January 17, 2018
Though Nintendo’s earlier tease of Labo mentioned it would be geared toward “kids and those who are kids-at-heart,” I think this actually looks pretty cool. Although the price tag might seem steep at first glance, realize that both kits include a full $60 physical game, so you’re really paying $10-20 for the cardboard, string, and other items included in the kits. That said, I’m curious to see what third parties will do once this is out—we might see different or more durable versions of these kits out in the wild soon.
Be on the lookout for Nintendo Labo when both kits launch on April 20, 2018. Be sure to check out the “first look” video below.