James O’Connor has a ball exploring Nintendo’s cardboard kingdom
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 – dierent 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, eort, 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.