Tech by VICE

Nintendo Switch's Hot New Accessory Is Cardboard

It feels like Nintendo can do nothing wrong, but can it reboot cardboard?

by Matthew Gault
Jan 17 2018, 10:44pm

When I was a kid, there was nothing quite as fun as a cardboard box. It could be anything I wanted—a time machine, a television set, or armor. It seems Nintendo's new accessory for its hit console Switch is trying to capture some of that magic with a new series of accessories that are literally made of cardboard slated for release on April 20 (blaze it).

It’s called Nintendo Labo and comes in two varieties, Toy-Con 01 Variety Kit and Toy-Con 02 Robot Kit. Each kit allows Switch users to create strange cardboard toys that have slots for the Switch and its detachable, motion-sensing controllers.. Players can craft fishing poles, playhouses, robots, and even a rudimentary paper piano.

Nintendo promised that the kits and software are just starting points and suggestions. Industrious users can build their own cardboard accessories and mess with the software’s features to do their own thing. We don’t have all the details on how all of that will work, but Nintendo promised that Labo would be all about “make, play, discover.”

Like Minecraft or Roblox before it, Labo aspires not only to be a fun game but a fun game that teaches people the mechanics of the tools it's using. The software will walk users through the construction of the cardboard kits and explain each of them as players put them together. After that players can slap stickers on the outside, color them in, or punch holes in weird places. More than that, Nintendo says the software will allow users to “dream up new ways to play.”

It’s a big promise and we’re not exactly sure what it means, but Nintendo is in a middle of a hot streak right now (Nintendo sold 4.8 million Switches in the US in 10 months, making it the fastest selling home console in history) and if anyone can make gold out of cardboard in 2018, it’s probably Nintendo.