GamesTech

Nintendo announces VR to the switch with it’s new labo kit

Google showed off virtual reality designed around cardboard in 2014, but it looks like Nintendo is ready to get in on the action now as well with a new Labo VR kit for the Switch that puts the system inches from your face.

The “simple” cardboard VR set will serve as the fourth kit in the Labo line and offer up six new DIY Toy-Con creations for players to make and enjoy. The project marks Nintendo’s first foray into the world of virtual reality since the release of the much-maligned Virtual Boy in 1995.

The new VR Kit comes in two packages, with the more expensive $80 option including everything in the lineup: Toy-Con VR Goggles, Blaster, Camera, Bird, Wind Pedal, and Elephant — plus a screen holder, safety cap, and game software.

There’s also a $40 starter set that only includes the VR Goggles and Blaster (plus screen holder/cap/software), with the other pieces sold separately in two $20 expansion kits.

Combining the Labo’s content creation capabilities in Toy-Con Garage with the possibilities of virtual reality opens up new doors for amateur creators and schools. It’s potentially the cheapest and most beginner-friendly VR creation tool around.

This is hardly PlayStation VR, but like Nintendo’s other Labo demos, it looks like the aim is more around building out a fun concept rather than seriously engaging with a new form factor or gameplay mechanic.

The Switch isn’t a natural fit for virtual reality, largely due to the fact that a 720p screen split for two eyes results in an incredibly low-res experience. Though the content look like a lot of fun, this doesn’t sound very comfortable in my opinion. You don’t have to use the Switch in VR mode to play with the Labo VR projects though, Nintendo says you can also play without mounting your Switch to your face.

The kit is a way to “introduce virtual reality in a way that’s fun and approachable for both kids and kids at heart,” Nintendo of America incoming President Doug Bowser said in a statement. The sets launch April 12.

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