Nintendo today announced Nintendo Labo, a wild new experiment for the Switch that will allow players to insert the console into assorted pieces of cardboard, creating items like robots, fishing rods, and pianos.
“Nintendo Labo combines the magic of Nintendo Switch with the fun of DIY creations,” the company explains on the Labo website. You’ll start with a piece of cardboard, which you can use to build one of these items, and then you’ll put the Switch in to power it up. Then you’ll be able to play games with your creations.
The trailer, released this afternoon, shows people using their cardboard creations to play music and steer remote-controlled robots. It is insane and I love it.
Nintendo Labo will be out on April 20, the company said. You’ll be able to buy two different sets, the Variety Kit (for $70) and the Robot Kit (for $80), and Nintendo is calling them both Toy-Cons, a play on the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers (because of course).
Per Nintendo, the $70 Variety Kit includes: “two Toy-Con RC Cars, a Toy-Con Fishing Rod, a Toy-Con House, a Toy-Con Motorbike and a Toy-Con Piano.” Here are some explanations for all of those:
- 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!
Meanwhile, the $80 Robot Kit will let you “build an interactive robot suit with a visor, backpack and straps for your hands and feet, which you can then wear to assume control of a giant in-game robot.”
Both kits will come with all of the cardboard and software you’ll need. You can also dish out $10 for a “Customization Set” including stencils, stickers, and colored tape to fix all the cardboard you and your kids break.
Nintendo will be holding Labo events in New York City and San Francisco for kids who want to try out the ambitious new experiment.