Nintendo unveiled what it calls a “new interactive experience” for Nintendo Switch today that’s unlike anything else on the console. Called Nintendo Labo, it’s a “new line of interactive build-and-play experiences that combine DIY creations with the magic of Nintendo Switch,” according to Nintendo.
Labo will let Nintendo Switch owners build cardboard versions of real-world items like a 13-key piano, fishing rod or motorbike. Nintendo calls those cardboard creations Toy-Cons. And, by inserting Joy-Con controllers into those Toy-Cons, players will be able to play games themed to the cardboard creations.
“With each Nintendo Labo kit, kids can transform modular sheets of cardboard – specially designed to interact with the Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con controllers — into creations called Toy-Con,” Nintendo said. “As you build, you will have fun discovering how the technology works, and might even invent new ways to play with each Toy-Con!”
Nintendo Labo will be released on April 20, 2018. The product line starts at $69.99 and currently includes a Variety Kit (which includes a house, RC cars, fishing rod, motorbike and piano) and a Robot Kit (it costs $79.99 and comes with a “cool robot suit.”) Each kit comes with its own software.
The Labo line also include a customization set that comes with “fun stencils, stickers and colored tape.” The Nintendo Labo customization costs $9.99.
Nintendo Switch sales have been exceptionally strong since the console launched in March 2017. Nintendo said in December that it had already sold more than 10 million units of the Switch. But Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima recently told Japanese newspaper Mainichi (via Nintendo Everything) that the second year for the Switch is “crucial,” saying that the company wants to “add more users, including people who barely touch game consoles.” Nintendo Labo certainly seems to fit that description.
For more on Nintendo Labo, read our post on everything we know.