Nintendo Labo

Matt Sullivan

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Nintendo has always been on the forefront of innovation when it comes to videogames, but their most recent endeavor may be one of the most experimental and inventive ideas from them yet.
On March 3, 2017, Nintendo-a company that has made some of the most highly acclaimed videogame consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System, GameCube, and Nintendo Wii, came out with an intriguing new console called the Nintendo Switch.
The console has joysticks that can detach from the screen which in itself can be used separately from the TV. The Nintendo Switch sold extremely well, surpassing Nintendo’s previous console, the Wii U, in under a year. The question everyone had was what they were going to do next.
Nintendo had gotten its major game releases out of the way at the time, so some were surprised when they announced a Nintendo Direct, one of Nintendo’s main methods of announcing large releases. What they announced at this Direct would leave nearly everyone surprised: the Nintendo Labo.
The Nintendo Labo consists of sheets of cardboard with designated areas to take out the cardboard and craft it. There are currently two ‘kits’ being offered, with a release date set for April 20.
The user places a joystick on the designated area, where a sensor on the cardboard will detect the Nintendo Switch and broadcast a game to the screen portion of the console. This is how all of the games function.
The first of the two ‘kits’, dubbed the Variety Kit, contains five different projects for people to build and play with, completely made of cardboard. The first of the five is a miniature piano, about the size of a laptop. The keys work like a normal piano would, and small games involving the keys are broadcast to the screen. The second of the five is a miniature house, which has a more ambiguous purpose. There are different mini-games that are able to be played but not a lot of physical interaction with the house.
The third and fourth are somewhat similar, in that they are very physical and handheld. The first of these two is a fishing rod, which comes with fishing games and a working cardboard reel. The second are motorbike handlebars, which includes a racing mini-game in which the user turns the handlebars.
The final of the Variety Kit is two RC Cars. Both joysticks are connected to a bug-shaped car. The user is able to press two buttons that make either of the joysticks vibrate, which in turn move the RC car forward. The user is able to race these RC cars using their Nintendo Switch. The Variety Kit is retailing for about 70 dollars.
The other kit is called the Robot Kit, and it only contains one game. Using a headset, a backpack that contains many moving pieces, string that connects everything, two extra joysticks, and two sensors strapped to the feet, the user is able to control a video-game robot. This is by far the most complex of any of the games included in Labo. The Robot Kit is retailing for about 80 dollars.
Whether or not Nintendo Labo will be a success is still up in the air. Even if it isn’t a commercial success, it will still go down in history as one of Nintendo’s most odd experiments.

Nintendo Labo