It appears that Nintendo has a lot more to share about how its cardboard Labo creations work in advance of the line’s April 20 release. While we’ve seen — and spent time assembling — the various cardboard Toy-Cons, we haven’t gotten as many details on how those actually interact with the software and “game” parts of the Labo package yet.
Today, Nintendo released three videos showing off more info on the Labo. The first is an overview on Labo, featuring some footage of the Toy-Con Garage, which lets you make some bespoke creations using the Joy-Con, your own cardboard and some rudimentary programming. The other two videos, contained in this post, detail the two retail packages the Labo will come in.
Let’s start with the first kit.
Nintendo Labo — Toy-Con 01: Variety Kit
The Variety Kit comes with five discrete Toy-Cons — the RC car, the fishing rod, the house, the motorbike and the piano — that you can put to use in eight modes inside the included software, pictured below.
The above video details some new elements across the various modes. Here are some notable ones:
You’re able to create your own fish by cutting out a unique profile and scanning it with the Joy-Con infrared camera. From there, you can decorate it, name it ... and presumably catch it and pretend to eat it.
The camera has some other tricks in store:
The Stadium Mode lets you create unique courses by either capturing an image from the Joy-Con’s infrared camera or tracing a pattern using the Toy-Con Motorbike. From there, you can customize the course, like placing boost items and modifying the road’s width, slope, time of day and weather. You can thankfully save your handiwork, so that you don’t have to parade your hand out every time you want to race.
Nintendo gave the most new details on the piano Toy-Con. Take, for example, the option of inserting new tones into the piano, like a cat, chorus or ... grandpa? The Acoustic Mode uses the so-called HD rumble in the Joy-Cons to produce a tone; put the controller onto something like an empty cardboard box, and experience the thrill of actual acoustic sound.
If you want to get really ambitious, you can record your performances in the game’s Studio Mode. You can get granular with settings like envelope, reverb, octave and more. We all know it’s only a matter of time before an actual musical talent makes a hit song on this thing, right?
You can also insert a waveform card to generate a unique sound, or a rhythm punch card to generate your own melody. You can string it all together to write your own songs, save them, and then play them back under the careful pacing of you, the conductor, using a Joy-Con (with attached cardboard, of course) as a baton.
Nintendo Labo — Toy-Con 02: Robot Kit
In addition to getting a better look at all the various input mechanics and poses you’ll adopt while using the Robot Kit, the above video also shows off some of the Kit’s other modes. Let’s go through them:
In addition to the Robot Mode we’ve seen since the Labo’s reveal, the Robot Kit also includes “Challenge Mode,” which appears to be a Tron-like virtual environment, with puzzles designed to test your mastery of the game’s myriad poses and gestures.
There’s the Hangar, in which you can outfit your in-game robot using different tools. Stick them into the robot Toy-Con, then turn the dial to rotate the in-game color wheel. Of course, you’re free to decorate your actual cardboard robot using tools like “crayons” and “paint.”
The Robo-Studio mode is the make-believer’s dream. Stick the Switch inside the robot backpack, and treat your friends and family to the sights and sounds of you stomping around your home, dorm or, in our case, office. It’s work!
And finally, VS Mode ... in the off-chance that you have another friend with the $80 Robot Kit, you can challenge them to a head-to-head duel in the game’s VS Mode. But maybe, in an effort to make sure that more parents buy this particular extravagance, there is another mode missing from this video that is clearly visible in the game’s menu: Calories mode.
Presumably, this will be some kind of fitness-tracking mode, helping the world’s youths stay fit while having fun, or some other catchy parent bait. Just like it showed with Wii Fit before it, Nintendo knows that an easy shortcut to parents’ pocketbooks is through their guilt about their kids’ screen time. We’ll share more about Calories mode when we learn more.