Nintendo recently took its formal step into the world of VR in a surprising way: with cardboard. Releasing as the fourth installment of the ever-growing Labo Toy-Con line-up, the Nintendo Labo VR Kit for Switch has been met with a variety of reactions. While some folks do enjoy it and have had their expectations exceeded, others loathe it and are still repeating the same line that’s been said since Labo first launched last year: “It’s overpriced cardboard”. Regardless, the director of Nintendo Labo, Mr. Tsubasa Sakaguchi, is proud of what he and his team have been able to achieve.
In an interview with The Verge, Sakaguchi shared some insight as to how Labo VR came out. He explained that the concept of Labo VR was thought of to achieve a goal to create “one overlap of ‘technology meets familiar and accessible'”. Another benefit that’s been achieved by having the VR experienced based around interactive cardboard toys is that they offer a tactile experience, often mimicking real objects. Sakaguchi explains that he and his team think that while what’s happening on screen is important, they also think “what we can feel physically and emotionally” is also important.
These are just a few of Sakaguchi’s comments, so be sure to check out the rest in the full interview.
The sale rate for the Labo VR Kit has been different in region after region. Some US retailers have been having trouble keeping stock, but meanwhile in the UK, its release was underwhelming enough that it didn’t crack anywhere in the top 40 bestseller charts. A relatively small number of units moved in Japan at launch, coming in at just 26,000.
Nintendo itself hasn’t talked sales numbers since Labo VR released a few days ago. It could likely be a slow burn as more titles (may?) gradually support it and new ones are built around it. But, only time will truly tell if it ends up being a long-term success.