Nintendo Labo

A mash of Lego and origami that is wholesome and unique.

Key events

The first thought I had when I heard that VR was coming to the Nintendo Switch via the Labo range was probably the same thought that ran through many other minds during the announcement - and that thought was, "well that's not going to work very well." And now I feel silly, because I've honestly been having the loveliest time exploring Nintendo's lo-fi take on virtual reality, surrounded by a pile of peculiar cardboard peripherals. My right eye does feel a little bit weird, but more on that later.

FeatureLabo VR is lo-fi, inventive and pure Nintendo

And it's a trojan horse for something else very exciting that Nintendo is cooking up.

There was a time, not so long ago, when it felt unlikely Nintendo would ever enter the world of VR. As Oculus, Vive and PlayStation VR were all making their initial plays, Nintendo was finding success with a very different bit of kit; a hybrid device that promised the possibility of play anywhere, was built around very traditional video games and sold on the idea of its inherent sociability. It always seemed one of those cute ironies that, while everyone was obsessed with these technologies that asked you to shut yourself away from the world, Nintendo stole a march by offering a console that said you're free to go out and enjoy it.

A box full of cardboard doesn't seem brilliant- not for 50, anyway. You could spend a fraction of that elsewhere and come away with enough cardboard to build a fortress. But Nintendo Labo is brilliant - deceptively so - and most people don't know the half of it.

Nintendo Labo is pretty sturdy for something made entirely out of cardboard - but it's a platform designed to be played with and experimented on. So what better marriage of ideas than a mix of Labo with Lego - a construction toy created with the same sense of creativity in mind.

You find the heart of a game in some surprising places. Take a typical Sakurai joint, which might nominally be about scrapping across large arenas and trying to knock your opponent off the screen. That's not what Smash is about, though - its real heart is in the menus, in their abundance and splendour and their hearty, generous and colourful spill. Play a game like Diablo and it's not so much about what happens when you're crushing skulls - it's about the screen where you're optimising your character so that they might crush skulls in the most efficient way possible.

If you've spent many sleepless nights pondering the practical, real-world applications of Nintendo's delightful new cardboard oddity, Nintendo Labo, here's a little story that might intrigue you: famous pop person Ariana Grande performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, using a bunch of backing instruments fashioned entirely from Labo. It sounded pretty good!

Nintendo Labo review - an ingenious and generous cardboard triumph

There's been a cardboard explosion. Some kind of arts & crafts volcano has erupted in my home and spewed detritus everywhere. I can't move for tiny bits of cardboard sticking to my feet, hitching a ride into other rooms, and I've got a pile of discarded cardboard templates this high to try and ram into a shared recycling bin. Woe is me. My vacuum will never suck this lot up. Why did I bother with Nintendo Labo?

"Oh, Dad! I found another one."

Nintendo Labo (Variety Kit and Robot Kit)

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God of War sales flatten Nintendo Labo's debut

PlayStation 4 exclusive God of War remains in the UK chart top spot again this week, despite the debut of two Nintendo Labo packs.

Labo, Nintendo Switch's new papercraft accessory system, landed in third place behind God of War and Far Cry 5 for its main 60 Variety Kit, and in 20th place for its 70 robot kit.

It's hard to judge how well Labo has done in comparison to expectations. It's an expensive kit (much of which will be taken up by the cost of the physical Switch game cartridge) but the range feels like one designed to sell continuously over time (and especially over Christmas). For something intended to have a slow sales burn, then, it is off to a decent start.

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Jelly DealsJelly Deals: Nintendo Labo pre-orders are now live

Variety Kit, Robot Kit and Customisation Set.

A note from the editor: Jelly Deals is a deals site launched by our parent company, Gamer Network, with a mission to find the best bargains out there. Look out for the Jelly Deals roundup of reduced-price games and kit every Saturday on Eurogamer.

Nintendo Labo: the internet reacts

Play your card right.

Nintendo surprised the world last night with its announcement of Nintendo Labo, a DIY cardboard accessory range for Nintendo Switch. So, of course, the world promptly took to Twitter to record its hot takes and jokes.

In the run-up to Nintendo's announcement last night, a few of us were bandying around ideas about what it could possibly be. An Amiibo-focussed game, Nintendo's own version of Skylanders? A streaming service that brought together the best in kids TV - so you'd always have an episode of In The Night Garden to hand through your favourite Nintendo device?

Nintendo has announced Nintendo Labo, a bizarre new interactive cardboard toy line

Nintendo has announced Nintendo Labo, a new range of cardboard-based "build-and-play experiences designed to inspire creative minds and playful hearts alike".

That certainly sounds lofty, yet the opening moments of Nintendo's announcement video below make it a little tricky to see what all the excitement is about.

Nintendo Labo toys start out as flat bits of perforated card that can be popped out into shapes, folded, and assembled into the likes of a bike, a piano, a fishing rod, robot suit, and more - creations that Nintendo is calling Toy-Cons.

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Nintendo Switch announcement tonight to reveal "new interactive experience"

Nintendo Switch announcement tonight to reveal "new interactive experience"

"Specially crafted for kids and those who are kids at heart."

Nintendo is prepping a big Switch announcement tonight, at 10pm UK time.

A "new interactive experience" for Nintendo Switch will be revealed, "specially crafted for kids and those who are kids at heart".

Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima recently emphasised how important growing the Switch's audience was for the console's second year - and, crucially, that the console now needed to attract an audience who were not already core gamers.

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