NINTENDO IS DIFFERENT to other games console makers; the Switch is a hybrid home and mobile console that eschews the song and dance spectacles of PlayStation and Xbox for more muted reveals and charming franchises.
The firm is this week continuing this quirkiness with the unveiling of Nintendo Labo, a rather oddball initiative that takes printed cardboard sheets and allows people to transform them into accessories for the Switch's Joy-Con controllers and the console's tablet body.
The Labo product itself is a kit which consists of a games cartridge containing five games and instructions for the accessories, and a set of cardboard sheets and other accessories, such as plastic bands and stings which can be used to create all manner of Joy-Con accessories, called Toy-Cons.
They vary from simple vibration powered robots controlled with the Switch's tablet, to fishing rods, model houses, motorbike handlebars and a piano.
Creating these Toy-Cons can vary from simply pushing out cut-outs from the cardboard sheet and, through using instructions displayed on the Switch's tablet, folding and slotting them together, to creating more complex constructions with pulleys and counterbalances as seen with the robot suit, which looks pretty mind-boggling.
The idea behind Nintendo Labo is to make gaming, notably for children, a more hands-on and creative hobby.
Some of the more complex Toy-Cons are likely to require an adult's help, but Labo should help get parents and children playing together rather than have either lose themselves in a single-player game.
Nintendo Labo is pretty much the most Nintendo thing since its Amiibo accessories and the Switch itself. And once again it demonstrates the success of the console, which is all about experiences and interactions, rather than teraflops and graphics performance.
Launching 20 April, Nintendo Labo will come in two versions, a Variety kit that covers most of the Toy-Con accessories for $69.99 (around £50, and a Robot Kit which contains the intricate robot Toy-Con and will cost $79.99 (around £58).
There's no word on a UK release date or pricing, but we'd expect a furore if Labo doesn't make it over from the US into Europe.
One thing is for sure; Nintendo is back on top form and the Wii U already seems like a distant memory. µ
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