The Nintendo Switch is already one of the most successful new gaming systems in years. Its revolutionary hybrid design allows games to be played either on the big screen at home or on the go as a mobile device ⏤ combining the best of both worlds into one handheld console. Now, Nintendo is hoping to make this beloved device even more fun with Nintendo Labo, a lineup of DIY cardboard maker kits that allow kids to build accessories that transform the Switch into totally awesome physical toys, like a piano or a fishing rod. It’s the same concept as Google’s Cardboard V/R goggles.
The $70 sets, which will be released in April, are essentially sheets of cardboard pieces that pop out and can be assembled into things like an R/C car, a house, a motorbike, the aforementioned piano, etc. The Nintendo Switch and Joy Con controllers are then inserted into the cardboard creation and internal sensors allow it to function and/or play a game. For example, hit the piano key, and you’ll hear a note. Turn the cardboard fishing reel and you can catch a virtual fish on screen. You can also buy the Toy-Con Robot kit for $80, which creates a wearable droid suit that you can use for a variety of new Switch games. With the Toy-Con Robot Kit, you can even hook your Switch up to the TV and play in Robot Mode, which allows players to destroy buildings, UFOs, and other in-game objects.
Of course, the goal is to add an element of real-world DIY fun by letting parents and kids build stuff together. You know, before they jump back into the digital world of interactive gaming. Also, to sell cardboard boxes for $70, which is never a bad business decision if customers are willing to buy them.