Nintendo’s cardboard Switch accessories enable bizarre new ways to play

Nintendo has unveiled a range of cardboard extensions for its latest console, the Nintendo Switch, which allows it to be used in unusual ways such as transforming the controllers into fishing rods and remote control cars.

The ‘Nintendo Labo’ kit features a number of self-assembled cardboard constructions that interact with the Switch’s ‘joy-con’ controllers. These include:

  • Toy-Con RC Car: the left and right Joy-Cons are used to create an RC car and its movement is controlled using the console’s touchscreen. The ‘HD Rumble’ feature in the Joy-Con controllers will cause vibrations that move the car in the direction you choose. Materials to construct two RC cars are included.
  • Toy-Con Fishing Rod: a fishing rod with an active, rotating reel that is attached by string to a cradle holding the Switch. Exotic fish shown swimming on the Switch’s screen are caught by casting the fishing rod and unwinding the reel to lower the hook.
  • Toy-Con House: by inserting various assembled blocks into openings in the sides and bottom of the house, you can interact with, play games with and feed a creature on the Switch screen. Each differently shaped block is detected by the IR motion camera on the right Joy-Con inserted on top of the house.
  • Toy-Con Motorbike: each Joy-Con is inserted into an assembled set of handlebars to drive a motorbike on the Switch screen. Pressing the ignition button starts the engine, while twisting the right handle activates the throttle. Leaning your body or turning the handlebars left and right controls the motorbike.
  • Toy-Con Piano: a functional 13-key piano uses the Joy-Con controller to detect which key is being pressed and the corresponding sound is played. Different assembled knobs can be inserted to create new sound-effects and tones.
  • Toy-Con Robot: a wearable suit that lets users control an onscreen robot character that apes their movements and allows them to destroy in-game buildings and UFOs.

These unusual accessories for Nintendo’s latest console are in step with the company’s attempts to differentiate itself from its competitors, namely the Xbox One and the PS4.

The console itself is the first that is designed to work both portably and in the home linked up to a TV.

“Nintendo Labo continues our longstanding mission of making people smile by surprising them with new experiences,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s president and COO. “It is an exciting evolution of the Nintendo Switch platform – one designed to inspire curiosity, creativity and imagination in people of all ages.”

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