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Nintendo announces Nintendo Labo: VR Kit to make virtual reality worlds on its hardware... a reality

Nintendo Labo: Toycon 04 - VR Kit image

Technically, Nintendo has made previous attempts to make noise in the VR space, but that went rather badly.

Nintendo of America today made a surprise post to Twitter, announcing the impending arrival of Nintendo Labo: VR Kit, the fourth installment in the Labo series that debuted in April of 2018 and got people excited about using cardboard to build things. Soon, they'll be able to use more cardboard to build "Toy-Con" they can then use to explore virtual worlds.

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit is due to launch on April 12, 2019. Here's the original tweet:

The Nintendo Labo: VR Kit bundle will be available with an MSRP of $79.99, and includes "software and materials to build all six Toy-Con projects – the Toy-Con VR Goggles, Toy-Con Blaster, Toy-Con Camera, Toy-Con Bird, Toy-Con Wind Pedal and Toy-Con Elephant – as well as a Screen Holder and Safety Cap." If you would like to spend a little less, you can get going with a starter kit that retails for $39.99, as well as expansion kits that give you more of the remaining content for $19.99 apiece.

Based on the pricing, it looks like you can save $0.02 by purchasing everything separately, so make sure to go that route if you want to save some green.

"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," said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing and its future President. "We wanted to design an experience that encourages both virtual and real-world interactions among players through passing around Toy-Con creations."

Nintendo was widely criticized for daring to have a window of time during the 2019 calendar year when there was no new Switch software releasing, but now it looks like this Nintendo Labo VR kit was probably planned all along. Unphased, critics have now shifted to calling Nintendo out for releasing VR that will incorporate a 720-pixel screen, which is a "huge mistake."

Only time will tell on that score, but for now it looks like the people at Nintendo are ready to test the VR waters again. Dare we hope they'll revive some of the classic experiences from that older era, like Nester's Funky Bowling, Mario Clash, and the Wario game? Again, only time will tell!

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Staff article by Jason Venter (March 06, 2019)

Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.

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Ogreatgames posted March 06, 2019:


The Nintendo Labo: VR Kit is probably the cheapest way to have a VR experience using Switch.

It would be nice if this VR setup offers more than just a single game.

I take it they got the concept from Google Cardboard?

This reminds me of Virtual Boy.
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honestgamer posted March 06, 2019:

I don't know if they got the idea from Google Cardboard or not, though certainly there are similarities. But the idea of producing shells to strap to phones and such came around before Google Cardboard, I think. I have a Viewmaster from a few years back, for instance. Nintendo has just been reluctant to move into VR, I think, because the cost to consumers kind of goes against what they have found works best. But this approach... could be okay. As so many people have a Switch in their homes or will soon, you're down to a cost of only another $40 to add probably a very consumer-friendly approach to VR. So I think it could do very well. I know I would like to try it!
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JoeTheDestroyer posted March 06, 2019:

Was that a Vitual Boy reference at the beginning? I wondered why my lights were flickering.
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hastypixels posted March 14, 2019:

Lol, Joe! I had the misfortune of playing the Virtual Boy as a friend of mine owned one for a ... period longer than he may like to admit. It wasn't new then, and the technology was.. well. Yuck.

The Switch is being underestimated; it can produce some serious fidelity under the right circumstances (read: lower your polycount expectations, folks), and its GPU is quite modern, able to produce some very purty graphix.

I don't doubt for a moment Nintendo's ability to make fun games... and ignoring the naysayers is the way to go, as VR is an uphill battle at the best of times. The idea of family oriented VR is quite a different angle for the typical intended use for the tech.

I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with it... though I doubt I'll be seeing it personally. I'm a kid at heart, but my body's not so young...
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honestgamer posted March 14, 2019:

I played a Virtual Boy once at a Fred Meyer store when my family was visiting Portland (so yes, I was absolutely referring to that, Joe), during the brief window of time when the hardware was new and stores were trying to enthuse consumers. I wasn't all that impressed, which is saying a lot since I was and remain a huge fan of nearly everything Nintendo does.

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