Nintendo Switch Labo VR Kit revives the Virtual Boy dream

Years before virtual reality even became the thing it is now, Nintendo was already toying around with bringing VR to its portfolio. That ended up as a massive failure and the Virtual Boy became an example of how not to do VR. Times and technologies have changed, however, and now 24 years later, Nintendo is taking a stab at it again, this time with a more educational bent thanks to its Nintendo Labo cardboard platform and, of course, the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo Labo was an instant success with both kids and adults alike. While the card-based modules already offered plenty of things to do outside the box, the platform really shined through the Toy-Con Garage mode that expanded their use with a little programming help. With a virtual reality kit, one can only imagine how tinkerers and modders will go wild this time around.

The Nintendo Labo: VR Kit offers a rather unconventional way of experiencing VR, one tailored especially for kids. Instead of requiring you to strap a headset, you simply slip the Switch into an assembled Toy-Con and hold it up to your eyes. This, Nintendo says, encourages sharing the experience around with others in the same physical space, thereby encouraging social interactions.

The full kit comes with six Toy-Con projects including traditional VR Goggles, a Blaster gun, a sea-life Camera, a Wind Pedal, and even a Bird and an Elephant. Slightly older users might be even more interested in Garage mode for experimenting with VR, though Nintendo has yet to reveal full details of what experiences it will offer.

Starting April 12, the Nintendo Labo: VR Kit will be available for $79.99. There will also be a $39.99 Starter Set pack that includes only the Toy-Con VR Googles and Toy-Con Blaster. The others come in expansion sets of twos (Elephant with Camera, Wind Pedal with Bird) for $19.99 each. These, however, will only be available for purchase online.