Q&A: What is Nintendo Labo?

Nintendo has launched its latest gaming device - Nintendo Labo - in the UK, a range of cardboard accessories designed to work with its flagship Switch console.

The accessories, known as Toy-Cons, are built first by users before being used in a range of interactive games.

- How does Nintendo Labo work?

Players first build one of the six Toy-Con objects available using the flat-pack cardboard designs included in the box. These are built using a range of perforated folds and flaps before the motion sensor-loaded Joy-Con controllers from the Nintendo Switch are slotted into the cardboard devices.

- How do the controllers power the cardboard devices?

The Joy-Con controllers are motion sensitive and designed to be used detached from the Nintendo Switch console from which they come. Using the motion detection and infrared sensors in the Joy-Cons, the controllers are able to detect movement and translate that into the gameplay on-screen.

Nintendo Labo
Nintendo Labo

- What sort of experiences does Labo offer?

There are two Labo kits for sale at launch - the Variety and Robot kits. The Robot set is a single large backpack, headset and string pulley system connected to the wearer's arms and legs that enables them to control an on-screen robot.

The Variety kit has five different Toy-Cons to build inside - a house, piano, RC car, fishing rod and motorbike.

Each one comes with their own mini-game to play, or musical experience to create with.

- What else can Labo do?

The Labo app for the Switch that comes with the cardboard also includes the Toy-Con Garage, a basic coding space where players can create their own unique interactions for unofficial Toy-Cons they choose to build out of cardboard.

Nintendo includes several starter ideas within the app, including instructions for a guitar Toy-Con.

- Is the cardboard used especially durable?

No more so than normal, meaning it can be susceptible to damage. However, Nintendo is already offering discounted spare sheets in Japan, and is likely to do the same elsewhere for those who need replacement parts.

- How much do the kits cost?

The Variety kit is priced at £59.99, while the Robot kit costs £69.99.

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