I am a fan of Nintendo. When they announced the Nintendo Labo last year, I was on board immediately. It is a great way to have kids construct their own games, and then program their own creations. Any games which promote STEM qualities is a massive win in my books.

But with the VR kit, Nintendo wants us to pay $80 for a VR viewer and a blaster. This seems extremely exploitative.

Firstly, the cardboard headset has no straps. Other variants have straps to keep it on the person’s head without holding it up, while the Labo, for some reason, does not. Adding string, or anything, would have meant the hands could be used for other things.

The software has to be amazing for it to work. Maybe the shoulder buttons are used as triggers, and the person moves the head to shoot? The joy-cons can’t be detached as, clearly, its used for the motion sensing. Buy beyond that, the games won’t be that deep. I also worry about the pixel count; a 720p screen isn’t the best viewing experience when its right up to people’s eyes.

The other toy is the blaster, which is cool. We will see if the games are worth it, but it would be a small miracle if the game is worth $80.

I hope it does well. After the failure of the Virtual Boy, it is great to see Nintendo support VR again. Labo is a sensible platform to be creative with the tech, but I am unsure if it will pick up any momentum after its launch.


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Tom Ffiske

Editor, Virtual Perceptions

Tom Ffiske specialises in writing about VR, AR, and MR across the immersive reality industry. Tom is based in London.