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How Nintendo Labo is using the Switch's IR Camera and HD Rumble features

February 15, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon

February 15, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon
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Nintendo has released a pair of videos that offer developers a peek at the nuts and bolts powering Nintendo Labo, the upcoming, craftable Nintendo Switch add-on kits.

While Nintendo hasn’t said if it’ll let third-party developers toy around with the kind of features being highlighted through Labo, the videos themselves offer developers an interesting look at the kind of quirky hardware uses that have been hidden away in the Switch until now. 

Labo’s earlier reveal hinted at how the cardboard-based activities would use the more unconventional parts of the Nintendo Switch to power a variety of games and experiences and this latest offering dives a little deeper to show developers and players alike exactly how Labo puts features like HD Rumble and the Switch’s IR Camera to work.

The Variety Kit video above goes into the most amount of depth to show the less apparent features found in each one of its six activities. For example, the Toy-Con RC Car uses the Joy-Con’s HD Rumble feature to move a little cardboard vehicle about, but the included game software allows players to use the Switch to see through the left Joy-Con’s IR Motion camera, something the RC car uses to move automatically and avoid marked obstacles.

Other Toy-Cons like the Fishing Rod, Motorbike, use the IR Motion Camera in novel ways, like by scanning objects or paper to introduce new content into each game. Players can cut shapes using paper and scan them to import new fish into the fishing minigame or create new waveforms to tweak sounds in the Toy-Con Piano’s Studio Mode. The Motorbike game meanwhile uses the IR Motion Camera to import object shapes and depth into the game for use as terrain in its custom track creation mode.

The video exploring the different uses of the Variety Kit can be found above while a similar breakdown of the standalone Robot Kit Toy-Con can be found on Nintendo’s YouTube channel.



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