Nintendo has gone back to basics with its new Labo kit which will allow Switch owners to build objects around consoles using folded cardboard. The Switch is considered Nintendo’s “hybrid” console as it can be inserted into a docking station, placed on a tabletop visible to multiple players or used independently as a touch screen tablet computer.
Nintendo’s latest addition to the console’s hybrid identity sees users turning the Switch into a fishing rod, a car, a motorbike, a doll’s house or a piano through cardboard add-ons. These accessories are called Toy-Cons and have built-in sensors that are activated once the Switch console is fitted into the designs. The Switch’s motion IR camera transforms the 13-key cardboard piano into a playable instrument and syncs the cardboard fishing rod to a fishing game with vibrations indicating a fish is biting. An app will be released together with Nintendo Labo, which will include games for Toy-Cons, as well as interactive graphics demonstrating how Toy-Cons function. The Labo kit will be available on 27 April 2018 across Europe.
Nintendo are hoping that the Labo kit will increase interest in the Switch console and broaden its audience, appealing to children and adults alike. The Nintendo President of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, told TIME in an interview: “Can (the Toy-Cons) be incorporated into other forms of gameplay? Certainly. But right now we think if we effectively communicate the power of the idea with Nintendo Labo (and) really enable players to maker their creations, personalise them, and enjoy the (inherent) gameplay experiences… We think that’s going to be a great way to start and then progress down the path.”
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