Google Cardboard’s true successor is at hand: the Nintendo Labo VR Kit (opens in new tab) is coming in April. Like other Labo products, it’s one part cardboard construction kit, one part Nintendo Switch minigame collection, and one part home programming creativity kit. First you convert your Switch console into a headset with the VR Goggles Toy-Con kit (it has some plastic parts to keep the lenses in place as well as the usual cardboard), then you attach the other Toy-Con creations to start playing.
Six new Toy-Con kits are being introduced: VR Goggles, Blaster, Camera, Elephant, Bird, and Wind Pedal. You can either get them all for $79.99 in the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 04: VR Kit or pick them up piecemeal with the $39.99 Nintendo Labo VR Starter Set + Blaster and its two $19.99 expansion sets (UK prices TBA). That means it’s actually a whopping two cents cheaper to buy them all separately, though the expansion sets will only be available on Nintendo’s official online store (opens in new tab) and you’ll probably have to pay for shipping.
Let me pre-burst any bubbles and clarify that these kits are not intended to convert Switch into a fully featured VR system. Nintendo says they use “basic VR technology to create a simple and shareable virtual reality experience for kids and families.” The goggles don’t even include a strap, so whatever you’re playing will always have to account for your hands holding everything up – though would you really want to strap a cardboard bird butt to your face? You can also use the included screen holder instead of the VR goggles if you prefer playing with a 2D image.
“This new kit builds on the core tenets of Nintendo Labo – Make, Play and Discover – to introduce virtual reality in a way that’s fun and approachable for both kids and kids at heart,” Nintendo of America’s Doug Bowser said in a press release. He’s currently the sales and marketing boss, but he’ll be president once Reggie Fils-Aime retires in April (opens in new tab). “We wanted to design an experience that encourages both virtual and real-world interactions among players through passing around Toy-Con creations.”
I’m most excited to seeing what strange virtual reality experiences people will make with all these new tools coming to the Toy-Con Garage mode. Just try to keep your lunch down because cardboard is really tough to clean.
Want to get started building your own Switch-powered toys? Check out our guide to the best Nintendo Labo deals (opens in new tab) out there.