Nintendo’s New Cardboard Switch Accessories Are Classic Nintendo Weirdness
Nintendo wouldn't be Nintendo without its weird design decisions. The company is constantly innovating, which sometimes creates industry-wide trends (motion controls, analog sticks, innumerable game design concepts) and other times doesn't (the Wii U's second screen). But it's the steady stream of odd ideas that makes the company so fascinating and fun.
All of which is a setup to say that its newest experiment, the build-your-own product Nintendo Labo, is Nintendo as fuck. It's a line of pop-out, foldable cardboard creations that, coupled with the Nintendo Switch's Joy-Cons, can turn into an array of custom controllers and toys that interact with the runaway hit console. The Joy-Cons have a crazy number of sensors on board, which means the range of potential for this sort of thing is vast. Nintendo calls these things "Toy-Cons," and there's quite an array of ingenious applications already on display. See for yourself:
Obviously, this kind of thing is meant for kids. That raises issues of its own - I suspect that the recyclable and reparable nature of cardboard will be utilised frequently when kids inevitably wreck what they're built - but it also makes adult gamers’ puzzled reactions all the more amusing. Personally, I would have adored this kinda thing as a child, and conceptually I adore it even now. Like Google's Cardboard VR goggles, it's a clever, sustainable, and cheap (to the manufacturer, anyway) way to add fun new functionality to gadgets you already own.
The first Nintendo Labo units lands on 4.20 for $69, and inclu----WHAT THE HELL, NINTENDO
Ahem. The "Variety Kit" will launch on that day, for that price, and includes two RC cars, a fishing rod, a house, a motorbike, a piano, and the accompanying video game; the "Robot Kit" will launch the same day for ten dollars more. Nintendo will sell replacement cardboard at a lower price, but you can be certain that bootleg cardboard will fast become a thing. What a world.