Meet Nintendo Labo, the add-on that makes the Switch an anti VR machine

Take your carton virtual gaming into the real world

Child with Nintendo Labo gaming backpack

The Nintendo Switch just got a new accessory that turns it into a physical gaming machine in real life.

What do we mean by that? Essentially Labo lets you turn the Switch console and controllers into real world objects that interact with games, using cardboard. 

Riffing off the idea of Google Cardboard, Labo takes the use of real-world cardboard to another level and in another direction from its current VR uses. Rather than strap on a screen to take you into a virtual world, the cardboard shapes turn the Switch console and controllers into real world devices, pulling the virtual into our world.

The teaser video from Nintendo shows cardboard made fishing rods with pulley systems that turn the controller and console into a real-virtual fishing experience. There’s a backpack that lets the wearer move arms as if fighting as a robot, while on-screen the virtual robot’s movements match the real world ones. There’s even a keyboard that lets you make music as if the cardboard keys were real musical notes.

Nintendo also shows Labo as a way to personalise the cardboard equipment which can be coloured in and designed with stickers. This is a nice idea that will help take children out of the virtual gaming world and into arts and crafts to vary their interactions with the console.

The Nintendo Labo “interactive build-and-play experiences” will be released on 20 April, according to the company. Pricing will start at $70, which is around £51, and includes a cartridge of games designed to be played with the homemade controllers. This also comes with a selection of stickers to aid in that personalisation process.