Nintendo Shows a Trove of Creative VR Content for Switch VR Labo Kit, Pre-orders Open

'Garage VR' lets players mod and build mini VR experiences for Switch


None among us can deny Nintendo’s penchant for creativity. The limited VR specs of the Switch don’t exactly inspire, but the company’s creative array of accessories and content in the Labo VR Kit just might. Nintendo has shown off a unique set of games based on the DIY cardboard peripherals (there’s a freaking bird attachment), along with 64 mini-experiences which can be deconstructed and experimented with in the ‘Garage VR’ scriptable programming tool.

Earlier this month Nintendo announced the Labo: VR Kit, 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.

The Labo VR Kit for Switch is now available for pre-order as a $40 Starter Kit and an $80 all-inclusive kit that offers all of the VR Toy-Con accessories in one box. Both kits launch on April 12th.

A new trailer shows the creative use of the included accessories and the diverse array of experiences:

Nintendo is calling it their “most immersive, robust Nintendo Labo kit to date,” not only because of the six unique Toy-Con accessories and corresponding games, but because of the 64 mini-experiences in the ‘VR Plaza’, all of which were built in (and can be deconstructed with) ‘Garage VR’, a programming tool which lets kids understand what makes each experiences tick—and encourages them to learn by tweaking, fiddling, and customizing.

Image courtesy Nintendo

Nintendo says that Garage VR can also be used to build simple VR experiences from scratch, right from the Switch. It isn’t clear yet if these experiences will be shareable between users, or if they will remain local.

Garage VR is a scriptable programming tool | Image courtesy Nintendo

From what we’re seeing so far, it looks like Nintendo has put a lot more thought into the Labo VR Kit than the many comparisons to Google Cardboard have insinuated. With an April 12th release date we’ll soon know if the kit can overcome the VR limitations of the Switch with its creative set of content.

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  • gothicvillas

    Wow, look cardboard VR

    • Edawg

      Don’t be a simpleton. It’s nothing like Google’s cardboard VR. Of course this doesn’t compare to high end VR but this looks pretty good actually. And it looks like a great entryway to VR for many people.

      • Stefan

        I’d say it IS like Google’s Cardboard, but in a good way: Holding a screen to their faces is, for many people, a lot less daunting than strapping a HMD around their heads. I would go as far as assuming Google would have created much less VR hype if they had started handing out a plastic-headstrap-smartphone-holder as the lowest level of entry.

        Nintendo’s goal might be completely different (making money vs. spreading the hype) and the product, naturally, is far more refined as required by that goal as well as the target audience, but the psychological design implications are fundamentally the same.

  • wally

    is this the Rift S? The specs seem a little bit better then what i heard?

    • Edawg


  • impurekind

    As simple as it is in terms of the tech, this looks like a very cool version of VR for casuals to try and see what it has to offer as a platform/medium. And with 64+ included games/demos along with the ability to created your own, this is great value for money too imo. Also, just making the Labo Kit stuff as with the previous kits is still going to be fun too.

  • impurekind

    Yeah, this is sooo far beyond Google Carboard that any comparison at this point, other than to say it’s similarly made of cardboard, is vastly unfair on what Nintendo and its Labo VR team has done here.

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  • Huuxloc

    I like the look of this. A great introduction and will get kids and kidults into VR.

    • benz145

      “kidults”. This is new to me. I like it.

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  • Bryan Ischo

    I am astounded by the ingenuity of the Nintendo team. I mean this sincerely – the number of fun ideas that they are able to come up with, all of them perfectly apropros to the capabilities of the Switch plus some cardboard accessories … it’s amazing. No, it’s not going to compete with a full 6DOF controller-tracked PC driven experience, at least in terms of the depth and visual quality … but in terms of sheer fun and ease of getting into VR? Top notch stuff.

  • HybridEnergy

    oh god, now nintendo kids are gonna think they know VR.

    • Stefan

      What makes you think they don’t?

      • HybridEnergy

        You guys don’t understand. As if the Gear VR wasn’t annoying enough, if I had a dollar for every time I heard ” try your VR? Nah thanks, it’s stupid I have a gear vr and it sucks” I’d be able to buy an island.

    • Marc-André Désilets

      What makes you thinks you do ? :P

  • I’m rather amazed at their “Elephant” attachment. Using 2 rotational sensors, an apparatus, and some inverse kinetics math, they have a semi-6DOF controller. VERY clever! I seem to recall company trying a similar thing, although their results were mixed. I am VERY curious to see how Nintendo’s 6DOF works in practice.

    The rest of it seems very skippable. It’s just Google Cardboard experiences. The game workshop they have might be fun for kids learning visual programming. Maybe somebody cooks up something interesting with it? It could be a nice way to introduce kids to skills that will help that jump into a real game-engine like UE4.

  • MosBen

    Like all of the Labo stuff, this just seems really expensive for what you’re actually getting. Sure, it’s more substantial than a basic Google Cardboard enclosure, but even if you buy a Cardboard enclosure instead of making one the Labo kit is 4-8 times more expensive. And you get a screen that’s likely much worse than the screen on your phone. It’s neat that people are trying things with VR, and I’m sure that there’s an audience for this, but it feels a lot like “rich kids with money to burn on stuff they’ll discard after a few days”.

    • Kevin White

      I guess. But I remember spending $76 with tax for Super Mario RPG and that was nearly 23 years ago. I definitely wasn’t rich at the time (college student in between semesters) and I discarded it after a few days (after playing through it). But it created a nice memory.

  • Marc-André Désilets

    Just for the quality of the experiences (games) that comes with it, it’s worth the price. People must stop evaluating the nintendo labo for the amount of paper in the box. It’s a construction project, an educative project and at the end you have a couples of very nice mini-games. People comparing this to google cardboard or saying that it’s not worth 40$ have never tried any nintendo labo. It’s a very good way to spend quality time with your kids while building ingenious and simple projects.

  • jameshvr

    This is awesome! Very creative use of nintendo`s cardboard system and VR! But i dont get how they track controllers… its “only” 3dof right?

    • Kevin White

      They use two controllers with 3dof in known positions with a visual marker board to anchor them, and an inverse kinematics transformation. It’s pretty ingenious. Still kind of cobbly and limited, but I have to admire ingenuity needed to pull it off.