Get ready for more cardware!
Just like Nintendo’s biggest franchises (Zelda, Mario, and Pokémon) Labo’s Toy-Con deserve all of the attention it’s inevitably going to receive. As of its Friday launch last week, we now have six different Toy-Con: the RC car, Fishing Rod, House, Motorbike, Piano, and Robot suit. But Nintendo’s reveal trailer showcased at least eight more Toy-Con that we’ve yet to see since then. In lieu of their availability, I put together a few ideas of how we think these eight mystery Toy-Con could work with Switch.
Okay, it’s a fun looking bird — I’ll give it that. But how in the world does Nintendo plan on turning a cardboard bird into an enjoyable play experience on Switch?
We’ve only gotten a quick glimpse of the bird in action from the Nintendo Labo release trailer, but you can clearly see a pair of hands holding the bird on each side under its wings, vigorously pressing down and causing its wings to flap around quickly. A Joy-Con with its IR sensor pointed outward takes the form of the birds beak. This, when combined with the flapping motion, indicates that it could be some sort of flying game.
We can imagine sort of Nintendo rendition of a flight sim — a game where you’re guiding a bird through the sky, avoiding obstacles, and maybe even collecting a few goodies along the way. Either that, or it could pair up with the next Toy-Con in question.
A light gun game makes a lot of sense for Switch, and Nintendo has no shortage of popular franchises that could bring this idea to fruition.
I’d love to see the shotgun and bird would work together for some Switch Duck Hunt action, which would make for some pretty hilarious multiplayer sessions. One player could control the birds while the other player tries to shoot them down, offering an entirely new way to play a classic game like Duck Hunt.
If Nintendo can capture some of the fun, variety, and physical activity that Wii Sports gave us — combined with the building aspect of it all, –Nintendo Labo could make for some pretty fascinating experiences, especially when playing with friends.
Racing Wheel with Gas Pedal
This one is pretty obvious. It’s a racing wheel fitted with a gear shifter and gas pedal. There are plenty of racing games that could work well here. Of course, one particular Nintendo franchise that naturally stands out is Mario Kart.
Assuming that Nintendo has already began development on the next entry in the highly popular kart racing series, it would make sense for it to include compatibility with the Toy-Con racing wheel.
The wheel itself houses a single Joy-Con, which takes advantage of motion controls for steering while using the IR sensor to read movements from the gear shifter, which could then be used for throwing items or jumping. The other Joy-Con sits below and inside the gas pedal, again using motion to detect the pressure of a players foot pressing down on the accelerator.
There are multiple routes that Nintendo could take with a camera peripheral for Switch. An on-rails Jurassic Park safari-style experience where you’re taking pictures of dinosaurs sure does sound like it could be a lot of fun, for instance.
But we’re talking about Nintendo here, and you can’t talk about camera peripherals on a Switch without at least entertaining the idea of how well it would work with a game like Pokémon Snap.
The Toy-Con camera shown off in the reveal trailer gives us a clear view of how this could work. With one Joy-Con acting as the shutter release and the other encased within the lens for zoom control, the Switch itself could be placed on the back of the camera to serve as a viewfinder. This allows the entire experience to remain portable so you can look for Pokémon on the go!
This next one is a little confusing. At a glance, you could easily mistake this unusual looking Toy-Con for a sort of mini generator or motor. The showing in the reveal trailer was quite limited, but we did manage to spot a few key points of interest that might give us a couple of clues as to how this could work.
If you look closely, you can see that there is a thick piece of cardboard sticking out of the top of it with a Joy-Con placed vertically inside, indicating that this strange looking contraption might actually be a periscope game. You never get to see the entire thing in a single frame, but I’d guess the Switch itself sits at the top and acts as a viewfinder for the periscope. Steel Diver anyone?
Bass Drum Pedal
When Nintendo first revealed Wii Music during its E3 2008 press conference, its initial reception was unsurprisingly negative. Requiring the use of two Wiimotes and a Balance Board, air drumming away on an imaginary drum set just didn’t seem to do it for the majority of Wii owners out there.
That said, I could see a few potential follow up ideas in the form of a Toy-Con Bass Drum Pedal. Given the entire concept of “build and play experiences” with Nintendo Labo, I wouldn’t be surprised if cardboard drumsticks and a few extra drums were paired with the bass pedal. That version of motion-controlled drumming on Switch might seem a lot more appealing.
If there’s one Nintendo franchise that could really take advantage of a joystick, it’s most definitely Starfox. Although Nintendo has yet to announce any official plans to bring the Starfox series to Switch, you can only imagine just how much fun it would be to navigate your R-Wing through space with a Toy-Con joystick when they inevitably do.
This interesting little Toy-Con is by far the biggest wild card. Its unusual design still has us scratching our heads as to how it could be used in practice. Our best guess is that the extendable arm could be used to play a crane game. Perhaps we’ll be using this peripheral to scoop up tiny Pikmin in a spinoff for the series? Or maybe it’s not an extendable arm, but actually a bow that we’ll be able to use for a Zelda archery mini-game? The possibilities are endless.