All the new Nintendo Labo virtual reality gadgets. (Nintendo Photo) Nintendo is to its lineup of cardboard Labo accessories for the Switch, doubling down on the surprising initiative first announced last year. The foundation of the new kits is a set of VR goggles that have a slot to lock in the Nintendo Switch console. There are several attachments that can be combined with the goggles, including a blaster, camera, bird, elephant and wind pedal. The new VR kits launch April 12. Nintendo is offering a starter kit with the goggles and blaster for $40, and a full kit with all the accessories for $80. There are a pair of expansion sets priced at $20 each for those who want to upgrade from the starter pack. “This new kit builds on the core tenets of Nintendo Labo – Make, Play and Discover – to introduce virtual reality in a way that’s fun and approachable for both kids and kids at heart,” Nintendo of America Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Doug Bowser said in a statement. “We wanted to design an experience that encourages both virtual and real-world interactions among players through passing around Toy-Con creations.” (Nintendo Photo) Nintendo has been known to march to the beat of its own drummer among gaming companies, and Nintendo Labo is no exception. The Switch’s tablet-like screen and Joycon controllers are dropped into the cardboard contraptions, bringing the player closer to the game, without taking them out of the physical world. Nintendo offers a variety pack, as well as robot and vehicle Labo kits. Total lifetime sales of the popular Switch hybrid home/mobile console, which debuted in March 2017, hit 32.27 million units at the end of last year. Nintendo late last year that the Switch is the fastest-selling game console in the United States among the current generation of consoles. Nintendo sold 9.41 million Switch consoles during the holiday period, its best quarter yet. But the company brought its full-year Switch sales forecast down from 20 million units to 17 million for its fiscal year, which ends in March.
Nintendo has always marched to the beat of its own drum among gaming giants and nowhere is that more clear than with . The company is doubling down on the product, which and allows users to build cardboard kits that turn Nintendo Switch controllers into a variety of things like musical instruments, a house or even a robot pack. In September, Nintendo will release the next generation of Labo kits focused on vehicles like cars, airplanes and submarines. A YouTube video unveiling the new Nintendo Labo kits shows a kid switching between the various steering and control setups within the same game as a vehicle toggles between car, plane and boat. The kits debut Sept. 14 at a cost of $69.99. The kits are essentially Nintendo’s take on augmented reality. The Switch’s tablet-like screen and/or Joycon controllers are dropped into the cardboard contraptions, bringing the player closer to the game, without taking them out of the physical world. Nintendo has struck gold with Switch, and Labo is another way to improve the experience. In September, Nintendo will kick off its paid online service, creating another Switch-related revenue stream. As of the end of Nintendo’s fiscal year in March, the company had . The surging console helped net sales for the company rise 105 percent for the year and boosted profits by more than 500 percent.