At the start of the month Nintendo decided to announce the ‘Nintendo Labo VR Kit’, and, as you can imagine, explosive energy was immediately felt coursing through the internet.
The energy felt wasn’t just for the strange timing and complete absence of it in their recent Nintendo Direct. It was more: Nintendo is doing VR again.
An Introduction To VR…?
A ‘rival to Sony’s PS VR’ some predicted, while others made sweeping, bold statements about how Nintendo was fully embracing the world of VR. They’re not really.
In fact, I immediately saw it as a basic VR Kit for kids and families, because that’s what it is. It’s the sort of gadget you buy for someone small (and new to VR) but not quite ready for the challenge of a PS VR or HTC Vive.
Nintendo has positioned themselves as such so they can target that younger age bracket to increase the adoption of VR in general. It’s from there, if at all, we’ll see the company fully engage in VR again. Remember the Virtual Boy in ’95? They’re probably not keen to repeat that.
So What Exactly Is Nintendo Labo VR In Reality?
Well, obvious comparisons are being made to Google Cardboard, which served a similar purpose: it was a low-cost system designed to generate initial interest in VR. Couple that with Nintendo’s creative DIY style of Labo products and add in the Switch to the mix.
It’s fair to say that not everyone is overly ecstatic with the idea though — some developers are worrying that it might even limit people’s perceptions of what VR is truly capable of. That’s certainly a moot point.
Not to mention that the Labo VR Kit is the fourth Labo kit, an initiative which hasn’t been doing great for Nintendo and will probably be one of the last if the meagre sales continue.
So, there are two Labo VR Kits available next month: one that includes all the Toy-Con creations, and one that consists of a smaller selection of projects to get started. However, both contain the Blaster.
Funds permitting, this writer might pick one up when it launches April 12th out of pure curiosity more than anything else, although, I won’t go in expecting a visually stunning experience. That’s already been taken care of with the Vive et al, and really? I think that’s the point.