Nintendo Introduces Labo VR Kits and Starter Packs to Bring Make, Play, Discover to Life

The Big N describes the kits as a simple introduction to VR meant to encourage sharing the experience with others.

Nintendo surprised the gaming world last April when it unveiled the Nintendo Labo line for the Switch, a DIY-themed gaming experience centered around using cardboard to build Toy-Con, the materials used in the actual augmented reality (AR) games that come with the kits.

It was an unexpected move, given the decline in toys-to-life products and sales. Despite high hopes for the line, Labo didn't do as well as many had hoped, even in Japan, where it was more successful overall.

However, almost exactly a year after Labo's original reveal, Nintendo held to its promise of continued Labo support and announced a brand-new line of Labo sets, this time based on virtual reality games, set to launch on April 12.

The company recently filed a VR patent, but regularly dodged the VR question, voicing concerns about health effects and its suitability for Nintendo's commitment to sharing gaming experiences.

However, the Labo VR kits are designed to negate those concerns and ease players into VR gaming, while still adhering to the Labo core promise of "make, play, discover."

The VR Goggle set itself is a Toy-Con, meaning players have to build the object into which the Switch tablet will slide for the VR game. Nintendo emphasizes the fact that unlike most VR sets, the Toy-Con VR set has no strap.

This makes it easier to remove from one's face and, more importantly, easier to share with others. In other words, it's still a social experience, and the shareability reduces the risk of health problems through overexposure.

Doug Bowser, Nintendo's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing (and future Nintendo of America president) commented on this feature, saying, "We wanted to design an experience that encourages both virtual and real-world interactions among players through passing around Toy-Con creations."

There's no word as yet what the included games will be, though Nintendo did tease an alien invasion experience relying on a Toy-Con blaster, along with a Toy-Con camera for photographing exotic and colorful waterscapes

The Labo VR kits will launch in stores in two forms:

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit — $79.99

  • Labo software for Switch
  • Toy-Con VR Goggles
  • Toy-Con Blaster
  • Toy-Con Bird
  • Toy-Con Wind Petal
  • Toy-Con Elephant
  • Screen holder and safety cap

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit, Starter Set + Blaster — $39.99

  • Labo software for Switch
  • Toy-Con Goggles
  • Toy-Con Blaster
  • Screen holder and safety cap

Those who purchase the Starter Set and wish to explore Labo VR further can purchase two expansion sets exclusively from Nintendo's online store.

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit — Expansion Set 1 —$19.99

  • Toy-Con Elephant
  • Toy-Con Camera

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit — Expansion Set 2 —$19.99

  • Toy-Con Wind Petal
  • Toy-Con Bird

Each Labo VR kit will also include the Toy-Con garage standard with all Labo kits, a feature that lets users learn and experiment with basic coding. Nintendo will release further information regarding the included games before Labo VR launches.

Contributor

Josh Broadwell's gaming career began early--1993, to be exact--when he was introduced to the Super Nintendo and Super Mario World. Despite all the magnificent games the SNES and, later, the original PlayStation had to offer, it wasn't until the GameBoy Advance era that he finally discovered RPGs, which quickly became a favorite genre. He holds a BA in history, an MA in history, and is currently pursuing an MA in strategic communication.

Published Mar. 7th 2019

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