Nintendo Labo

James O’Con­nor has a ball ex­plor­ing Nintendo’s card­board king­dom

Hyper - - FEATURE -

Afew months af­ter the first Labo kits launched, Nintendo’s ex­per­i­men­tal prod­uct line is al­ready in an odd po­si­tion. Right now, Labo could be ei­ther the next big thing or a quickly aban­doned side-project. Nei­ther even­tu­al­ity would sur­prise me, al­though plenty of peo­ple have al­ready made their mind up about it.

“It’s $100 for card­board!” they shouted. “CARD­BOARD!”

This ig­nores the fact that both kits also come with soft­ware to in­ter­act with all that card­board, of course, and that they al­low for some pretty in­ter­est­ing, com­plex stu‰. From what we can gather, the Va­ri­ety Kit has sold de­cent num­bers, while the more ex­pen­sive Robot Kit – which fea­tures a bigger build and a slightly more tra­di­tional ‘game’ – hasn’t done as well. It’s not clear what fur­ther packs are planned – di‰er­ent ob­jects have been spot­ted in ini­tial promo spots for Labo, in­clud­ing a cam­era, a steer­ing wheel, a flight stick, and a gun, but at the time of writ­ing no re­lease dates or pack­ag­ing de­ci­sions have been un­veiled.

In June, Nintendo an­nounced a sec­ond Nintendo Labo ‘Cre­ators Con­test’, whereby Labo own­ers were chal­lenged to use the soft­ware’s ‘Toy-Con Garage’ ap­pli­ca­tion to cre­ate their own games, or mu­si­cal in­stru­ments, with all sorts of prizes up for grabs. The creative po­ten­tial of Nintendo Labo isn’t as widely pub­li­cised as the card­board pe­riph­er­als it comes pack­aged with, sim­ply be­cause dig­ging into some­thing like that re­quires the sort of time, e‰ort, and ded­i­ca­tion that fans han­dle much better than jour­nal­ists do. For many, the pro­gram­ming pos­si­bil­i­ties of Labo will be a ma­jor sell­ing point – but for the ma­jor­ity, I sus­pect, these are just fun toys.

We’ve had a look at the avail­able Toy Con kits and have some thoughts on Labo – both where it is now, and where it might go from here.

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