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Is Nintendo Labo A Failure?

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Although some people do not know what the Nintendo Labo kit is, they are just missing out on life. Although many people do not know what it is, the gamers who have it are truly geniuses! 

So is the Nintendo Labo a failure? 

While some people say the Nintendo labo is a failure, it has been proven that it is not a failure but something creative that has blown the mind of many gamers!  

If you don’t know what the Nintendo Labo is, or you have some questions about the Labo, then you will want to keep reading. If you learn visually, here is a video that will explain the Nintendo Labo and why it isn’t a failure. 

As of January 2019, the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit had sold over a million units – not bad for an experimental concept made of cardboard with only physical sales, right? 

You can generally tell if something is a flop by the simple metric “Does it get a sequel” – and after the launch of Labo with the Variety Kit and Robot Kit they have launched the Vehicle Kit and have Labo VR on the way.

Although Labo wasn’t a big tentpole release, it is still a cool little thing done by Nintendo with relatively modest expectations that generates a bunch of publicity all while helping shape the next generation’s minds. 

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Not selling as well as Mario is fine, especially when testing a new sub-market.

If we look at the reactions, there are two types of people when it comes to the Nintendo Labo announcement.

One of them is the “Wow that looks super cool” group, and the second category is the “it’s just cardboard after all” group. That latter assessment seems mainly to be based on overlooking the fact that the $69.99 Toy-Con 01 Variety Pack includes 5 unique toys and games to use them with. 

The Nintendo Labo’s price is a touchy subject. Considering Nintendo software is horribly overpriced at the best of times, 70 dollars for five separate games and peripherals almost feels like someone in marketing might have hit their head on the way to filling out the cost forms.

The master stroke

If we don’t consider cost and cardboard, it’s the ‘peripheral’ bit of this where Nintendo has played a strategic victory: distributors love peripherals. Truly, they can’t get enough of them. EA used to lie awake at night dreaming about making two or three hundred thousand somewhat wonky shaped, game-themed controllers at $80 a pop. 

From the Nintendo Zapper to move mats and interminable Collector’s Editions, games have attempted to make us purchase additional bits and go through more cash for a considerable length of time. In any case, it tends to be unsafe for them, and somewhat of a genuine annoyance for us. The Wii’s uDraw GameTablet fundamentally bankrupted THQ. 

Why is Labo genius?

Although the reasons above can basically prove that Labo is genius, we will go one step further. The Nintendo Labo created infinite peripherals for almost any game! The best part is that it  doesn’t cost a fortune to produce! Imagine the offices around the world with high ranking video game executives slumped in their chairs, being gently fanned back to consciousness, after being shown a spreadsheet for how little this was going to cost to produce.

So with profit-making cynicism aside, people are going to buy these things. They are cheap, cheerful, and, because they’re sort of a fun build-it-yourself game, people will love them. They are for sure more exciting than putting a few little pieces of plastic together to build a crane, or building. 

Nintendo utilized the fact that people love to build their own toys

Meccano? Lego? Minecraft? People love to build their own toys, whatever the age and Nintendo knows that. Kids will want to wave a cardboard fishing pole around because that’s what kids do. While adults will go for it because they’ve got $300 of Amiibo in a display case and it’s far too late to back down now. Just kidding… they’ll do it because it’s fun as well. 

Even non-Nintendo lifers can see the appeal in the Labo experience. I cannot articulate how much I want to build that piano and see it play a note. I can’t really explain why it’s just the idea of making something that actually does something and has a purpose. No matter how small that purpose may be. Building functional things has a far more tangible satisfaction.

Even if you’re not a Nintendo fan it’s easy to see the appeal of building your own semi-educational toys. People buy those all the time without a Switch attached so adding a playable interactive element from one of the most famous manufacturers of joy in the world isn’t exactly going to hurt the appeal. 

The first Labo kits are mainly more toy than education currently, but the in-game Switch tutorials highlight how things work, reinforcing basic science and engineering principles. Just building the thing is a lesson in focus and understanding. Given how much schools love to use things like Minecraft, a Switch in every classroom is basically about one well-pitched funding proposal away.

Because it’s all made from cardboard, developers can throw out ideas at a low cost and high rate.

Expect Nintendo to lead the path with sumptuously created steering wheels and working cameras, while independents will connect to PDF formats you can print out and make from grain boxes. The potential here is tremendous! In addition to the fact that it unlocks an entirely different raft of game thoughts and mechanics, think about what you can consider doing with the Joy-Con’s IR sensor, movement controls, and haptics!  It makes a universe of modest additional items that fans will be able to all hook up together. Some of it will be crazy, while some will be a huge success! 

Nintendo Labo isn’t a failure, at all

Every year you read about some break out success at a gaming event involving a game played with an unusual controller – a racer played on a potato, or a beat-em-up controlled by telling a group of cats which one you like the most.

Labo takes that mad, beautiful sense of experimentation, unfettered by controller conventions, out of the fringe and into the home. Sure, giving kids fun things to make and do is the main focus, but this is a whole new beginning for game design. Much like mobile gaming or the Switch itself,  it promises a whole new world of who knows what! Just imagine a 1-2 Switch sequel robot enhanced with Labo extras. And, if someone has to buy an $80 cardboard robot to make that happen, so be it.


Because the Labo is basically untapped potential that has the potential to be anything that you can imagine, the sky is literally the limit. Although some people just see cardboard and a gaming system, others see a world where you can create anything all while bringing that item to life! If someone can make a piano out of cardboard and a couple of sensors, than I am sure someone can use the switch, some cardboard,  and a little bit of imagination to create a world that comes to life!