May don't know this, but Nintendo was actually one of the first companies to experiment with virtual reality in the form of its Virtual Boy, released in 1995 to lukewarm acclaim. Many consider it as a failure, but Nintendo clearly believes in second chances.
Nintendo Labo VR Kit
Called the VR Kit, the cardboard construction set aims to bring "simple and shareable" VR experiences to the hybrid console. Nintendo considers it as a "unique first VR experience," launching April 12.
The main Labo VR Toy-Con set, which costs $80, will include six Toy-Con peripherals: a set of VR goggles, a blaster, a camera, a bird, a wind pedal, and an elephant. Per usual, the collection fits right in with Nintendo's weird and wacky brand. Also included are additional screen holder and a safety cap.
For those who don't want to splurge a full $80, Nintendo will also release a Starter Kit that includes the VR hardware and blaster Toy-Con at $40. They'll be accompanied by "supplementary" expansion packs, $20 apiece, with two Toy-Con peripherals included in each package.
As with any Labo kit, this comes with a Toy-Con Garage software suit, for those who want to experiment and tinker with their own VR creations. While Nintendo promises that there'll be "basic programming tools," it has yet to share more details on how the Toy-Con Garage will work with the new Labo VR Kit.
Nintendo's new accessory won't hold a candle to the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive, obviously. These are VR headsets with dedicated processors and high-tier computing powers, and are thus standalone gaming consoles in their own right. The Labo VR Kit is meant to enhance the Switch, not supersede it, or for that matter, any VR systems currently available. At the very least, it looks like a creative way to try out VR without shelling out a fortune.
Labo has been on of Nintendo's most experimental projects to date. With this new kit, it's clear there are a lot more possibilities for new peripherals. It's interesting to see what the company will come up with next using just pieces of cardboard. Nintendo might not reign supreme when it comes to raw processing power, but it banks on creativity and wackiness, which, in a field of power-hungry gamers, is refreshing. An attempt to shake up formula is always welcome.