Nintendo just released a video with their latest promotional product called Nintendo Labo. It’s an exclusive add on for the Nintendo Switch that would be available in April of this year. If you haven’t watched it, Labo is a make and play that goes along with your Nintendo Switch. Taking cardboard cut outs, you build a variety of devices that connect with your device to give you a unique gaming experience.
At face value, it looks and sounds like a cheap gimmick. However, if you look at it with an open mind, this is a classic Nintendo move. This new product, will hit two birds with one stone; appealing to their young fans (which was in the message that was sent prior to the video’s release) and to their veteran fans. It’s not hard to see how this would entrap young fans. They are given a chance to build, create and customize their creation and play with it on their gaming device. This is how Nintendo does things; innovation that hooks you from young. Appealing to their veteran fans is also how this giant has remained to stay in the console wars despite being seen as a kid’s console. How they did this was by showing for only a fraction a handheld gun that was made from the cut outs. I may be wrong and just be reading too much into it, but as a veteran gamer, seeing that instantly reminded me of Duck Hunt which was in my opinion, one of the greatest games that ever graced us on a home console back in the late 80’s early 90’s.
Nintendo Labo, really is a great step or a nice gimmick depending on how you look at it. However, there is one aspect that, if I am right, every anime otaku would admire about Labo. Nintendo Labo is taking Augmented Reality (AR) to a new level. This isn’t surprising as they did say this much when they first launched the Nintendo Switch. However, Labo has shown just how committed they are to that. How can this appeal to anime otakus you may ask? Well simply put, one series comes to mind; Sword Art Online. How AR and SAO link is quite simple if you watch the video and consider the success of the Pokémon Go app. Imagine SAO, with features similar to Pokémon Go (minus having to actually leave your house to play) on the Nintendo Switch. It would without take AR to another level while giving us Otakus something that we want, to clear SAO ourselves/with our friends (minus the actual life and death situation).
Though that may be nice, it is merely my speculation at this point and I may be reading too much into nothing. However, if I know Nintendo, I will not put it past them. Without such speculation though, two thumbs up for Nintendo Labo. It’s a great feature to have if you have little children around or if you are, a child at heart.