Nintendo Labo transforms Switch into a cardboard toybox

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Nintendo has unveiled Labo, an innovative set of kits which, when assembled from cardboard, transform the Switch into the likes of a piano, a motorbike or a fishing rod.

Never mind the Joy-Cons: Nintendo Labo introduces the concept of Toy-Cons, by providing elaborate cardboard construction kits into which various parts of the Switch are inserted, essentially transforming them into interactive toys, known as Toy-Cons. You can see Nintendo’s explanation of how Labo works on the official website here

A spokesman for Nintendo said: “Each Toy-Con comes to life when combined with the Nintendo Switch in different ways. As you make, you will have fun discovering how the technology works and even invent new ways to play with each Toy-Con.” Satoru Shibata, President of Nintendo of Europe, added: “Nintendo Labo invites anyone with a creative mind and a playful heart to make, play and discover in new ways with Nintendo Switch. I personally hope to see many people enjoying making kits with their family members, with big smiles on their faces.”

We won’t have to wait long for Nintendo Labo: it will launch on April 27. There will be different Labo Kits available for purchase; so far, Nintendo has released details of two. The Variety Kit will let you create various Toy-Cons, including a radio-controlled car, a fishing rod, a house, a motorbike and a piano. The Robot Kit lets you create a whole wearable robot suit.

Each Toy-Con you build will have its own accompanying game (or in some cases, such as the Toy-Con House, several games and activities). Nintendo Labo will be the first Nintendo product to make use of the infra-red motion sensor built into the Switch’s right Joy-Con – using it, for example, to sense which keys you are pressing on the Toy-Con Piano.

By further blurring the boundaries between the interactive and the physical, Nintendo Labo adds an extra dimension to the Switch’s already considerable appeal. So far, Nintendo hasn’t revealed how much the Nintendo Labo Kits will cost. But if you’re keen to keep abreast of developments, you can subscribe to Nintendo Labo’s dedicated YouTube channel here.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.