Nintendo today announced Labo VR, a new suite of Labo kits that — you guessed it! — turn the Nintendo Switch into a handheld VR headset. The full kit, priced at $80, includes enough cardboard to turn your Switch into a face-mounted rocket blaster, a face-mounted elephant simulator, a faux camera, a generic viewfinder shape, and a sophisticated “what would it be like if my face were an entire bird” appliance. There also appears to be some kind of foot pedal apparatus, judging from the action shot below. A cheaper, $40 kit, will include the parts necessary to make just the face blaster.
Nintendo has yet to show what the software for these new kits actually does, or how you will interact said software while this bird’s cardboard cloaca is glued to your eyeballs. I also have doubts about the fidelity of a VR experience that hinges on the Switch’s 720p display, but these are all questions for another time. Right now, I’m here to give Nintendo some free ideas for how to best capitalize on the existence of this thing. I figure they’ll listen, since Nintendo strikes me as a company that can recognize brilliance.
Free Idea #1: Pokemon Snap, Y’All
There’s a camera right there. It’s already on the box. Let me take pictures of Pokemon with it. You don’t even have to give me a full sequel to Pokemon Snap — though I would point out that Nintendo’s refusal to iterate on one of the most widely beloved entries in Pokemon canon is perplexing at best. But yeah, I’ll happily accept a 3D space where I can pick a Pokemon and take pictures of it with this camera kit. I’d appreciate a selection of different backgrounds if you’re feeling generous but honestly anything is fine. Actually, leave out Mr. Mime and Jynx if possible but otherwise anything is acceptable.
Free Idea #2: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Model Viewer
Historically, people have loved looking at character models in Smash Bros. games, and they’ve loved rotating/zooming in on assist trophies and the other unlockable ephemera, so why not give them the ability to really get up close and personal with that statue of Waluigi? Not only would this add value for existing Smash Bros. Ultimate owners, but it would also encourage the world’s perverts to go out and buy a Switch for their own illicit purposes. Everybody wins!
Free Idea #3: Pod People Trumpy Simulator
Nintendo is already playing around with the concept of masks in this first Labo VR kit, so why not follow that line of thinking all the way to its logical conclusion? Admittedly, this would be an extremely complicated kit to manufacture out of cardboard, but I’m confident that the industrial engineers at Nintendo are up to the challenge. The Switch has already sold over 30 million units in its first two years on the planet, and in order for Nintendo to maintain that kind of moment, it has to be the first company to bring a VR product to market that allows fans to embody the hero of 1983’s cult classic film Pod People.