Nintendo is turning its Switch console into a virtual reality headset. And it’s doing so with a little help from its Labo cardboard interactive toys. The Nintendo Labo: VR Kit supports “simple and shareable” VR experiences, so don’t expect Skyrim.
VR Kit is launching April 12 for $80. It includes Nintendo’s full suite of VR cardboard creations. Or you can get the VR Kit – Starter Set + Blaster, which is a pared down version that only includes two of the builds for $40. This is the latest entry in Nintendo’s Labo line, which are toys that people can make out of cardboard. Those creations then interact with software on the Switch.
“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’s marketing boss Doug Bowser said. “We wanted to design an experience that encourages both virtual and real-world interactions among players through passing around Toy-Con creations.”
Wait — what is this?
The VR Kit includes six total Toy-Cons, as Nintendo calls the Labo creations. That includes the VR goggles, that will end up looking a lot like Google’s Cardboard VR. But you can pair the Labo VR goggles with other Toy-Cons like a camera, an elephant, a submarine, and a bird.
And look, let’s not joke around here. If I’m not using that camera to take pictures of Pikachu in a Pokémon Snap successor, then why does this even exist?
But again, don’t expect super detailed experiences. The Switch isn’t even as powerful as a PlayStation 4. And the screen only has a 60 hz refresh rate, and you want at least 90 frames per second for comfortable VR.
That said, Google and others have done VR on smartphones for years now. And the Switch has hardware equivalent to some of the most powerful phones on the market.