Nintendo 'Labo' Announced | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Nintendo ‘Labo’ Announced

Gaming editor Roshni Patel unpacks the newly announced Nintendo 'Labo', and explains her optimism for the innovative peripheral

Once again Nintendo have released a product teaser trailer which captures our inner child and sends our creative minds soaring, with their latest creation, Nintendo Labo. Cardboard peripherals for the Nintendo Switch. While peripherals for Nintendo consoles aren’t new (think wii fit board, or Donkey Kong’s bongos), we’ve never seen something so unique.

LaboUnveiled on Wednesday 17th, Nintendo Labo is a build-it-yourself peripheral kit, where some assembly is required; as you pop out and fold together cardboard nets to create fairly intricate models. Add in the right joy-con and the model comes to life, as your real world actions translate across to your Switch game.

From making music on a cardboard piano to reeling in a big one using a cardboard fishing rod, the infrared camera and sensors, along with the joy-cons’ accelerometers, can bring almost any design to life. This is seen particularly well in their final and most ambitious model, the full size Labo Robot Kit, which adds pulleys to your arms and legs, that connect into your backpack receiver to translate your movements to the big screen robot transformer.

While many of us are still children at heart, these models are just the start of what could be a wide range of custom games made by Nintendo or indie developers alike, as the technology to design and create these kits is fairly simple. For now however, these kits are a little overpriced (if you consider the game will likely cost £35-50 alone), and far too simplistic to be played by older audiences for more than few hours, with only the robot kit looking to have any replayability at this moment in time.

LaboFor younger kids, these cardboard peripherals will provide hours of fun, sparking their creative and engineering minds, until the cardboard tears or wears out, potentially costing parent’s a fortune in replacement nets (though Nintendo have said that replacement parts can be made from the leftover cardboard).

All in all, the Nintendo Labo seems like a very Nintendo-like innovation for kids and big kids alike. Launching as 2 separate kits, where the ‘Toy-Con’ kit 1, or variety kit will include most of what we saw in the trailer for £59.99, and kit 2 will include the robot kit, and will of course cost a whole £10 more. With additional licensed customisation tapes and stickers, parents and curious adults will truly be fleeced by the Nintendo Labo.

However, regardless of the costs, fragility, and the almost gimmick-like nature of Nintendo’s latest peripheral innovation, it's a step in the right direction, as we kill off the era of expensive, plastic, single use peripherals. Available to buy from the 27th April 2018, there’s plenty more time for more details to emerge while we wait for the pre-orders to open.

Redbrick Gaming Editor, who also occasionally dabbles in the dark arts of other sections. Graduating July 2018 (@roshofalltrades)


24th January 2018 at 9:00 am

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