In a surprise move today, Nintendo announced that blockbuster titles Super Mario Odyssey and Zelda Breath of the Wild will get support for the Switch VR Labo Kit.

Nintendo announced the Nintendo Labo: VR Kit for Switch back in March. It’s the fourth kit in their ‘Labo’ product line—primarily targeted toward younger gamers and families—which offers build-it-yourself accessories which work in conjunction with specially made games and experiences.

Although creative and interesting, we fully expected the Switch VR Labo Kit to only be compatible with the out-of-the-box games and experiences that ship with it.

Nintendo turned that expectation on its head today when it announced that two of the company’s biggest games—Super Mario Odyssey & Zelda Breath of the Wild—will get support for the VR Goggles ‘Toy-Con’ accessory that’s the foundation of the kit. These two games are literally the top rated Switch games of all time, according to Metacritic, and widely considered to be the best release for their respective franchise in years.

With the Switch VR Labo Kit launching on April 12th, the two games will see free updates on the 25th to add VR features.

Zelda Breath of the Wild appears to be getting full VR support, allowing players to turn the feature on and off at any time while playing, though the company notes that pre-rendered cutscenes won’t be compatible with the VR mode.

Super Mario Odyssey is getting a smaller made-for-VR “bite-sized bonus experience” which will offer players three new “mini-missions.”

While the Mario Odyssey VR gameplay clearly uses a static camera (which will ensure co zmfort), Breath of the Wild in VR appears to allow players to rotate the camera no differently than if they were playing on the screen; it’s unclear if this will cause comfort issues. Generally speaking, moving the camera in VR with any input other than the player’s head could lead to discomfort (especially if rotating the camera causes the player’s horizon to change). Maybe there’s more to the story regarding comfort than what’s seen in the video above, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Performance is also another unknown, especially with Breath of the Wild already being a visually ambitious game for the Switch’s mobile processor. Rendering Breath of the Wild for VR (stereoscopically and at a steady and comfortable framerate) won’t be easy.

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Aside from these two games, the Switch VR Labo Kit also features a trove of specially made VR experiences that work uniquely with the cardboard ‘Toy-Con’ accessories included in the kit.

The kit launches on April 12th in two variants, the Labo VR Kit Starter Set for $40 [Amazon], which includes the VR Goggles and ‘Blaster’ Toy-Con, and the Complete Labo VR Kit for $80 [Amazon], which includes everything in the Starter Set plus four additional Toy-Con accessories and accompanying VR content.

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  • impurekind

    This is actually rather big news, and it kinda turns Labo into a legit VR peripheral for the Switch, especially if Nintendo decides to support VR in more games going forward.

    • VR5

      Agreed. And for SMO and BotW the $40 base pack should suffice.

      Hopefully the rumored higher spec Switch, which they are likely to announce at E3, will be designed to support VR. That way, Labo would be a cheap way to try and the new model would be the full package.

      • impurekind

        Yeah, I’m thinking similarly.

  • VR5

    BotW might just be a 3 dimensional cinematic screen. Obviously not really VR but that would be technically feasible and already a huge step up from playing on a TV.

    • Downvote King

      From the context of the article it certainly seems like this may be legit VR. The camera behavior even changes on Odyssey. It’s worth noting as well that while the Switch screen is only 720p, it is capable of rendering a 1080p output, about 4x the pixels, so creating a true VR experience at only 720p should be feasible.

      • VR5

        I don’t consider it impossible, no doubt the games included in Toy-Con 4 and the new Odyssey content will be true VR. If BotW is true VR that would of course be preferable but since they apparently didn’t make any adjustments to movement (especially of the camera) to account for motion sickness, that hints at it being contained in an immersive screen. Hopefully you’re right and I am wrong on this though.

        I wouldn’t complain about an immersive screen either, if it means we can get more games on the headset.

        • Downvote King

          I’m definitely not certain one way of the other, but them changing the camera behavior at least on Odyssey seemed to indicate that to me. I don’t expect an extensive VR ecosystem to develop on this particular iteration of the Switch though. I think they’re just gauging interest and testing out some game design in what is essentially a beta environment. Resolution is one thing, but requiring people to hold the screen to their face is not a long term solution. A Switch 2.0 or at least 1.5 will be needed to enable a true headset with separate controls, allowing a full ecosystem for VR gaming. I do think it would be a great move for Nintendo to make.

  • gothicvillas

    Sounds like Nintendo are tipping their toes in VR waters to see whats in there… clearly this is just to have ocassional fun as you would not play for hours if you have to hold the cardboard to your face with one hand. But, if this suceeds, we may see next gen Nintendo VR and thats already a very interesting prospect.

    • Darshan

      Mario Odyssey may span across 11 Hours of game-play still small session mostly consisted of 6/7 minutes followed by any kind of cut scene, so it may be possible to hold cardboard to face with one hand its absolutely different case with Zelda BoW, if switch hardware can indeed play both games flawless in VR than its time for Nintendo to look again to VR with more seriousness. *They are indeed mode for breath of wild is proof

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  • Zach Mauch

    Thus might not be that great on the current hardware, but when the switch pro comes out later this year (partially speculation) I’m guessing it will make a jump.

  • Brian Burgess

    This is awesome news. It’s so ironic to me, that so many people dismissed the Labo VR kit and the idea that it could really have an effect on the VR market. With this announcement, so many Switch players on the net are expressing a desire to buy the Labo VR kit. This could increase VR adoption in general.

    • Lucidfeuer

      Holly shit, you really need to become a PR.

      • Brian Burgess

        Holy shit, a low effort post from you. You really need to try harder. You are not very good at this internet trolling thing.

  • Darshan

    Wonderful software cries for proper hardware…not justifying existence of crude cardboard box studded with lenses.

  • οκ

    Its 3D support not VR support. I mean cell phones have at least 360 support because of the Gyro with higher resolutions, this thing wont even have that. People shouldnt even bother, just get a phone with a big screen…

    • Amni3D

      I’m pretty sure the switch has an IMU on the Joycons and also on the screen. The reason they want you to hold it up is probably:

      -To mimic what the Google Cardboard was doing. Where the motion sensing isn’t good enough, so a lack of a headstrap will encourage you to do very small movements with your head.

      -The Switch is too heavy to be worn comfortably. This is their comfort solution

      -Whole experience isn’t comfortable enough for long play sessions, so this encourages someone to go full Gear VR, limiting their playtime to like 14 minutes at a time.

  • Glad to see these two big franchises become VR ready! This is will help VR awareness…

  • Lucidfeuer

    Having to a hold a cardboard with both hands, for a low FOV° on a 720p LCD screen with high-latency…all this for a poor adaptation of BoTW that doesn’t match what emulator can do by hooking into the camera…

    Yuck, this is surprising of Nintendo.

  • Lateman Parodius

    Animal Crossing VR? They already dabbled in it a little with New Leaf, right? The 3d seemed okay on it.