It’s not every day that I get to spend an entire afternoon building a piano from scratch. But that’s exactly what happened this past Monday as I spent time digging into Nintendo’s Labo variety pack for the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo unveiled its do-it-yourself Labo activity bundles earlier this year ahead of their official launch on April 20. Labo kits allow Switch owners to create handmade playful accessories for their console by folding and fastening cardboard pieces together. The concept sounds simple, but these playsets may very well be among the storied gaming company’s most creative products yet.
The variety pack I tried includes supplies for making five different types of accessories, which Nintendo calls Toy-Cons, named after the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers. In this $69.99 kit, you’ll find cutouts for making a remote-controlled car, a fishing rod, a motorbike, a house, and a piano. A slightly more expensive $79.99 Labo kit lets you build a wearable backpack and visor for controlling a robot on-screen.
But what’s most interesting about Labo isn’t necessarily how the cardboard toys come together, but what you can actually do with them once they’re assembled. Labo’s functionality depends entirely on how the Joy-Con remotes and Switch tablet cooperate with each other — and it’s not in the way you might expect a traditional controller and game console to work together.
In many cases, the Joy-Con serves as the eyes that make it possible for the Switch to see what’s going on when you’re playing with a Toy-Con. Take the piano, for example. Each piano key is marked with a sticker that becomes visible to the Joy-Con’s IR motion camera whenever that key is pressed, telling the Switch which note it should play. You can insert different pegs into the piano that prompt it to trigger different sound effects when the instrument is played. One such peg, for example, turns each musical note into a cat’s meow.
The house Toy-Con works in a similar fashion. Inserting different blocks into the house’s frame prompts changes to occur in the virtual room being displayed on the Switch’s screen. A new item will often appear in the space depending on which block you insert and where — once again thanks to the Joy-Con’s stickers. The controller is cleverly positioned in the chimney, giving its IR camera a bird’s eye view of the home’s interior. As such, …read more
Source:: Time – Technology