Let’s talk a bit about Nintendo Labo because I’m way more than excited.
Nintendo unveiled a battery of videos on Thursday detailing what you can do with the Nintendo Labo suite. Needless to say, this is a creator’s paradise in cardboard.
First, we have the overview trailer, which shows off what Labo is and how it gets set up. One of Nintendo’s points of emphasis in the video is the Toy-Con Garage. In the Garage, players and creators can start to discover the many different things that they can create using the Toy-Cons, such as a coin bank which tells you what coin you just put in.
Creation, exploration, this is the basis of the STEaM movement in education (more about that later.) However, that’s not all Nintendo had up its sleeve. They also revealed detailed videos talking about the first two entries into the Toy-Con series, 01-Variety and 02-Robot. Let’s start with 01-Variety:
With the Variety Kit, you can create five different projects. First is the RC Car, which uses the HD Rumble and the Right Joy-Con’s IR camera to move and steer itself. Creators can even take a look at what the Joy-Con sees with it’s IR camera, as it’s steering itself, even in dark spaces. Two players can also jump in and play head-to-head in battles, similar to Battlebots…without the utter destruction.
There’s also the Fishing Rod, which allows you to catch fish, show them off and create your own, as well as the Toy-Con House, Motorbike, and Piano. The House is the home of a strange creature, which you can interact with using different objects attached to the different windows. You can even combine objects to change the room up. The Motorbike is kind of like Excitebike, but with interactive course creation tools, including using the IR camera to create new terrain or entire courses.
The second Toy-Con kit, 02-Robot is a wearable suit, with many different parts.
This is a whole body exercise, where you can become the robot, where you can destroy and demolish a whole big city by just walking around and punching things! You can become a tank, go into the first-person mode, or even grow gigantic. There’s also a challenge mode where you can learn many different moves and increase your robot’s power. You can even customize your robot’s colors in the Hangar, make sounds in the Robo-Studio by just walking around, as well as fighting head to head VS mode with 2 Toy-Con Robots.
Nintendo Labo releases on April 20 for the Nintendo Switch. The Robot Kit will have an MSRP of $79.99 and the Variety Kit will have an MSRP of $69.99. Both kits can be found via Amazon’s STEM Toys section. Speaking of STE(A)M…
STEAM (or Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) is an education model that guides student inquiry and problem-solving through science, tech, arts, and math. This movement has been making strides to increase interest in these fields as children grow up, as well as being able to create real life connections to everything. Nintendo, while attempting to focus on the gaming aspect of the Switch, is looking to achieve the same success that the Nintendo Wii had in schools, but from a different angle. The Nintendo Wii saw it’s entry way into schools via physical education and SETSS (Special Education Teaching and Support Services,) such as physical and occupational therapy sessions. With Nintendo Labo (and this is from an educator’s standpoint, as I am an assistant pre-kindergarten teacher during the work week,) schools have the potential to introduce this into their curriculums effectively, such as units about the human body, transportation or water. Labo can also be effective in schools for phys ed and PT/OT, so the possibilities are virtually endless with Nintendo’s newest ambition.