When it was released earlier this year, the Nintendo Labo platform — a modern cardboard construction set extension for the Nintendo Switch portable video game platform—made a bigger splash than anybody could have predicted. While the Nintendo Switch has proven to be popular with gamers of all ages, a modular cardboard construction set seemed like an odd choice of accessory set. Turns out, it’s the perfect complement in the age of STEM education and has sold like hotcakes since release.
The set, which carefully balances video game play and teaching the principles of engineering, physics, and basic programming, allows kids (of all ages) to create everything from a functioning piano to a virtual fishing game.
With their latest release, the Nintendo Labo team has moved beyond simple tabletop games and musical instruments into a whole new category for kids to tap their inner Elon Musk: vehicle design.
The Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 3: Vehicle Kit allows kids to create and control a car, a plane, and a submarine—while encouraging them to activate different controls for each vehicle and use the platform to create their own inventions.
The three technologies that the Nintendo Labo leverages from the Nintendo Switch are the dual gyro sensors, the IR Motion Camera, and the HD Rumble function—all hidden within boxed-in cardboard designs—and are used to play games on a TV.
“At the time (we were designing the Nintendo Switch), I never could have imagined it would end up being used like this!” explains Nintendo Labo Director, “Mr. Kawamoto”. “When we were designing the Nintendo Switch we had all sorts of brainstorming sessions with both the hardware and software developers. It was through this exchange of ideas that we settled on the final design for the system. Nintendo Labo uses the Nintendo Switch system’s more unique design elements in a deeply satisfying way.”
The Toy-Con 3: Vehicle Kit will become available on 9/14 and will be the third set total, joining a general purpose “Variety Kit” and a robotics kit. Find out more over at Nintendo Labo.