Nintendo’s Next Big Thing: “Add an ‘O’ on the end of it”

I found out about Nintendo Labo the way I figure out about most things.

I was browsing Youtube, and videos with “Labo” in the title kept coming up.

Normally I can tell what a company’s doing when they reveal their ‘next big thing’, but this time, I still don’t know what the hell Nintendo Labo is supposed to accomplish. So let’s go directly to the video:

For those of you not in the know, Nintendo Labo is Nintendo’s attempt at making what essentially amounts to Lego Mindstorms, but without the coding part. In short, you have many pieces of cardboard and string masterfully designed by Nintendo themselves and printed into neat, little, templates. With that cardboard and the program for the Switch that comes with it, you can build various structures like, say, a fishing pole, handlebars for a motorcycle, a steering wheel…a house…like I said, it’s weird.

With this intricate creations, you can just slide the Joycons into whatever slots there are and magically be able to play the piano, or rig up a mech-style outfit and punch the s**t out of some buildings. Looking at them in the video, Labo is using the Joycons to the absolute max, like a Native American, they use all parts of the buffalo here.

What did you expect?

But you have to expect that from Nintendo, not doing the obvious thing, going for something that no one’s ever heard of before. I’ll be honest, at a certain point it just seems like Nintendo is trying to be the ‘hipster’ game company, not in the traditional sense of the word, I’m just saying that Nintendo is trying to make random things cool, and in the process they’re not working on things that would have a wider appeal to the public. Nintendo is trying to be that quirky, smart kid that doesn’t talk in class but always comes out with the right answer, no matter what it is. And sometimes it’s kind of infuriating, but then you think about it, and you realize it works anyways.

I mean, when I first heard about Labo, I thought to myself, how the hell could this be applicable to anything? Well, the answer to that is: it just does. I mean, we don’t have too much information about this thing yet, and it seems like currently, Nintendo is limiting your creativity by providing fixed templates and programs to interact with, but it looks like they’re going for more of like what the Wii was: “a fun interactive experience for the whole family”. What I want to see is something more along the lines of the Lego Mindstorms where you can create the structure and the program, allowing for so many more possibilities in the world of casual gaming.

And on top of that, they could spin it into some sort of learning base for interactive coding, considering that Labo is clearly directed towards the younger audience, as a game developer-in-training myself, the world of technology still has so much potential with so many things that could be made. In short, it’s a great way to prepare kids for the future. And who could be against that?

So what do you think? Is Labo going to be a massive success?

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