Nintendo Labo VR Kit: Complete review of the Switch VR headset

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Michael Naimark
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Summary

  • Unboxing the Nintendo Labo VR Kit 
  • The assembly of the Nintendo Labo VR Kit: a pleasure for a Lego fan
    • VR glasses - 30 to 60 minutes of assembly announced - 1h30 real
    • The windmill - 1 hour real
    • The camera and its diving mask - 30 to 60 minutes announced - 1h10 real
    • The elephant - 60 to 120 minutes announced - 2 hours real
    • The bird - 90 to 150 minutes announced - 2h40 real
    • The wind pedal - 90 to 150 minutes announced - 2 hours real
    • The Blaster - 120 to 180 minutes announced 2h45 real
  • Design and ergonomics: Nintendo hasn't thought of everything
    • Nintendo Labo VR Kit: convenient controls
  • Nintendo Labo VR Kit limited by Switch technique
  • Nintendo Labo VR Kit features: a big effort on the playful aspect
  • The 10 best games in the Nintendo Labo VR Kit
    • Explosive Football
    • Transport ufo
    • Gravity simulator
    • Basketball hoop
    • Coconut shy
    • Underwater photos
    • Drawing with the elephant from the Nintendo Labo VR Kit
    • Ball circuit
    • The Blaster Rail Shooter
    • The 33 discovery mode videos
    • Bonus: Your game ?! Crazy Toy-Con Garage Experiences
    • Why Zelda Breath of The Wild is not in this selection
  • Quality / price ratio: a good investment for a Switch owner
  • Nintendo Labo VR Kit against the competition
    • Nintendo Labo VR Kit VS Google Cardboard
    • Nintendo has Labo kit VR, VS eye Go
  • Nintendo Labo VR Kit VS Samsung Gear VR
  • Buy the Nintendo Labo VR Kit at the best price
  • Verdict
  • notation





Indeed, the Toy Con 04 brings together six accessories made of cardboard and plastic to try out VR. It's up to you to mount them. The refractories will say in the first place that the screen of the Switch with a resolution of 720P makes it impossible. However, the developers of Nintendo try the adventure without demerit. If the technique does not really follow, we will see during this test that they are full of ideas to make VR playful and fun.

  • Console compatible : Nintendo Switch
  • Weight: 400 grams with the console
  • Price: 29,99 69,99 to euros

The Toy Con 04 pack contains:

Unboxing the Nintendo Labo VR Kit 

The Switch color box contains everything you need to build the different models on the box. The main image directly announces the color: this product is primarily intended for children. On one side we have the assembly times for the different toys. On the other hand, the models are put in condition of use.

Once opened, the box contains everything you need to make the six accessories. Everything is tidy. It almost looks like Marie Kondo participated in the placement of the elements. No really. For comparison, the console pack layouts aren't perfect. There, nothing sticks out.


This has its importancee. Indeed, the boards are classified in a certain order. We first find something to build what Nintendo calls VR glasses. Then the mill, a complement to the cardboard helmet. Then, you can make the camera and its diving mask, the elephant, the bird, the wind pedal and finally the cannon. Obviously, it turns out to be easier to follow this order. But the fact that each of the plates is numbered helps to navigate.


But before removing one by one the elements necessary for assembly, you must first remove the cartridge. Indeed, all the instructions go through the Switch. This saves valuable space and thus does not make this already bulky box fat.

The assembly of the Nintendo Labo VR Kit: a pleasure for a Lego fan

Before diving into Nintendo-style VR, you will spend long hours assembling the various accessories. For a Lego lover, this is a godsend. Fortunately, the Japanese firm has designed an easy-to-follow manufacturing manual. Each of the steps is detailed in detail. A child under the age of 10 can follow the instructions very well and succeed with the constructions without damaging anything. IHowever, there will be times when you need an adult or a teenager. Indeed, the insertion of the eyelets requires a little force and skill. All the rest is played in the ability to succeed in folding, fitting tongues or even attaching elastics.

Note: times shown take into account cardboard cutting, assembly, screenshots and photos. Let us not forget the untimely interventions of Apollo, our cat. He too would have liked to play with carnations and cardboard boards.


VR glasses - 30 to 60 minutes of assembly announced - 1h30 real

This is THE centerpiece of this Nintendo Labo VR Kit. We advise you to be careful not to miss the assembly. Indeed, it accommodates the other accessories on its facade. The key words: patience and delicacy. Fortunately, the pieces come off effortlessly and every crease is marked so as not to achieve a cardboard horror. Even when you doubt your ability to follow the instructions, the instructions for use anticipate your reactions. A folding not right? No big deal, the thing will be readjusted later. The area of ​​difficulty to anticipate? The cage that accommodates the Nintendo Switch.


It must be as straight as possible. Indeed, the weight of the console plays on this part which gradually bends. You can still straighten it. In addition, the security piece maintains everything. We took our time to make it. According to our camera metadata, it took us 1 hours to assemble the VR glasses.

The windmill - 1 hour real

A small assembly during which you will have to be careful to make the folds. Indeed, the mill wheel is easily assembled despite the eyelet to install, but the body of the device requires rigor. Come on, a little patience and you'll get there in less than an hour.

The camera and its diving mask - 30 to 60 minutes announced - 1h10 real

So here is a new essential accessory to enjoy two mini-games. The camera parts are easy to fold. The assembly went off without a hitch, you have to pay attention to the direction of the placement of the elements. No, we wasted time elsewhere: when it came to detaching the parts. Many small pieces of cardboard serve as junctions, but turn into waste. However, the end result is worth the effort. This camera has a zoom that makes clicking sounds. Unfortunately, the diving mask adds nothing to this accessory. It turns out as useful as a pair of mustache and big nose glasses. Finally, you look less silly when you wear it.

The elephant - 60 to 120 minutes announced - 2 hours real

This assembly is not very difficult either. The assembly itself takes just over 1h45. The new disruptive element? The presence of rubber bands to fix correctly. Be careful, the trunk has an articulated area, where you slide the joy-cons. This is the most complicated part to assemble. It is especially important to pay attention to the junction of the folds with the tensioners. Being able to wiggle the trunk gives you exciting new gameplay opportunities.

The bird - 90 to 150 minutes announced - 2h40 real

The base of this accessory looks a lot like that of the camera. It is therefore necessary to assemble three main parts to overcome it: the base, the body and the head of the bird. One of the joy-cons acts as a mouthpiece. Once again, you have to take out the elastics and turn your body over to access the junction of the wings. The central area is full of folding, which requires concentration not to make mistakes. Placing the wings is child's play, once everything has been checked. Then simply connect the mount to the VR glasses.

The wind pedal - 90 to 150 minutes announced - 2 hours real

Here is the only accessory not to put on the helmet. The big difficulty consists in making rectilinear folds so that the structure which will be crushed by the foot is solid. The stickers should be placed correctly. Fortunately, the instructions are easy to follow. It suffices to push in the eyelets to ensure its robustness. All you have to do is press the pedal.

The Blaster - 120 to 180 minutes announced 2h45 real

This is the BIG assembly of the Toy-Con 04 and definitely the most attractive. This kind of bazooka made up of several elements takes the architecture of the camera lens, but longer. The part that attaches to the glasses looks like that of the elephant. Finally, it is the pump of the barrel that requires skill. Indeed, it is necessary to install the rubber bands meticulously. Especially since this part hosts the joy-con that starts the shotss. Fortunately, the result and the compatible experiences are clearly worth it.

Design and ergonomics: Nintendo hasn't thought of everything

The materials used are obviously “cheap”. Concretely these are improved carboards. However, Nintendo has worked on the fun and colorful aspect of the various accessories. The culture of origami is reflected in the assembly and in the videos available in the discovery area. We have fun making them, then personalizing them if we wish. Moreover, the famous discover section allows you to learn more about the means to customize the accessories.

To wear, the VR glasses from the Nintendo Labo VR Kit weigh a little over 400 grams. The console counts for 339 grams by integrating the joy-cons. It is very close to the characteristics of an Oculus GO. Only, the strap makes it easier to wear. Depending on the experience, you have to hold the helmet with one or two hands. On one hand, fatigue is really felt after 30 minutes. Just like eye strain. The software reminds you to take regular breaks, approximately every 10 minutes.

Nintendo Labo VR Kit: convenient controls

On the other hand, the controls are most often practical. Just tap on the virtual cardboard button to display the games output menu. The console's gyroscope does it all. When it comes to controllers, you can count on the joy-cons and their wrist straps. We go from one to two levers on the fly, if at all. It seems that everything is mainly thought for right-handed people. We hold the helmet with the left hand and we manipulate the joystick of the other mimine. When you're left-handed, certain experiences like baseball or golf are less obvious. We would like to be able to change the meaning. This remains a detail, this is not the first time that we will have to adapt to this right-handed world.

Finally, you can connect an audio headset through the vents provided to breathe the console and provide access to the console connectors. However, they are not sufficient to prevent heating. After an hour of play, the Nintendo Lab VR smelled a particular odor: heated cardboard. You have to get used to it. For our part, this reminds us of the arrival of the chicks in the henhouse on the farm.

Nintendo Labo VR Kit limited by Switch technique

This is the biggest flaw of this Nintendo Labo VR Kit. The Switch's screen with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and its 60Hz refresh rate coupled with the cardboard magnifiers reinforces the impression of seeing large lines of pixels. It takes a little while to get used to it. Another sine qua non condition for making the most of this product: the cleanliness of the screen. The slightest speck of dust is found to be magnified. It is therefore necessary to do a good cleaning up before plunging into the adventure.

Likewise, most games don't hold the perfect 60 FPS. It sometimes happens that the technique trembles when the number of animations saturates the memory of the little beast. However, the graphics fell short of Switch standards. Textures aren't superbly detailed, while 3D models don't shine with their finesse. In addition, the videos available in the “discover” mode are only 180 degrees in average quality.e.

VR inquisitors could cry out infamy. Do not do it. What counts with the Toy Con 04 pack is the pleasure of exploring, of trying innovative technologies at the service of naive idiocy and inventiveness.

Nintendo Labo VR Kit features: a big effort on the playful aspect

Ah! This is where Nintendo has focused its effort. If we can not move in a space like with the HTC Vive, if the handling sometimes resembles that of the Oculus GO, once again the Japanese firm is focusing on entertainment and the practice of video games. In the cartridge menus there are 64 mini games, some of which can be unlocked after fitting the accessories. With VR glasses alone you have access to 16 small experimental levels. You can also watch 33 videos in the discovery mode. This serves as a giant tutorial to customize the accessories.

The first simply allows you to discover the placement of the camera. You control a robot which, when it jumps, creates platforms under its feet. Note that most of the experiences are not seen in the first person. This is often fixed. Pressing a button changes the angle. The following ones feature this little robot, then a car, a spaceship, a crazy dancer, and finally the camera goes to the first person for the practice of golf, basketball and baseball. Don't worry, we won't list all of them for you.

Each of the accessories gives you access to its own set of mini-games and new gameplay elements. With the windmill you have to blow, with the camera zoom and the notion of 360 degrees are really taken into account. The elephant offers you additional movements and the possibility of drawing in VR. The bird allows you to fly and collect items like in an arcade game.

The 10 best games in the Nintendo Labo VR Kit

Here is a selection of the 10 best experiences contained in the VR plaza of the Nintendo Labo VR Kit.

Explosive Football

In this mini-game, you play as a little blue robot who faces off against his red counterpart. The latter tries to reach the wall behind you to score a goal. If he succeeds, the ball explodes. It's up to you to react at the right time to score 10 points before him.

Transport ufo

This time a cute little ship has to catch three apples to put them on a table. This virtual gachapon requires skill. In addition, the strange physics of the fruit demands special attention from you.

Gravity simulator

You will tell us that there is nothing to do in this level. IF. Objects that fly in all directions, at 7 or 28, it's always funny. Especially since the 3D models are surely the most detailed of the pack. Plus, you can slow down time on the fly. We admit, we played this seemingly useless mini-game more than rightly. So essential.

Basketball hoop

The real first game in the first person. As the name suggests, you have to throw a ball into a basketball hoop and score 10 points. Be careful if the ball comes out of the racket you will have to start over. An interesting challenge. It is not necessarily easy to put the ball back in the same place.

Coconut shy

The Windmill offers a new form of gameplay. By blowing, you send balls which break objects. In the mess, a shelf full of bric-a-brac faces you. You have to drop all the items in one breath. At the end, your score appears. A fun and addicting mini game.

Underwater photos

Instead of a mini-game of a few minutes, Nintendo has given its camera a big place in the Nintendo Labo VR Kit. In the first experience, you play a diver who, like a hidden object game, must capture in image the fish and the secrets of this underwater environment. You move on two axes: up and down. Thus, you access three distinct environments: the surface, the bottoms and the depths. The joys of searching for a sea bream, a pacific tuna, a shark, but also a mermaid, a giant robot or even a treasure are yours. You have about XNUMX items to find.

Drawing with the elephant from the Nintendo Labo VR Kit

Clearly, the accessory provides two great mini games. One allows you to draw in three dimensions as in Tilt Brush. If this tool is less complete than the reference of the genre, the many possibilities come to respond to the creativity of children.

Ball circuit

The second mini-game consists of designing circuits for marbles. You have to find the right elements to get these balls to the right place. This puzzle game particularly appealed to us.

The Blaster Rail Shooter

The canon gives experiences very close to what an arcade or Time Crisis could offer on PlayStation. This obviously reminds of Nintendo's past and its famous Duck Hunt. Here you are placed on a rail and you have to shoot enemies and obstacles in your way.

The 33 discovery mode videos

Ok these are 180 degree videos, but each of them could generate dozens of memes. Nintendo employees put themselves in the scene and offer particularly crazy moments. Realize, the first features a man disguised as Mario pulling scarves from a place placed at your mouth.

Bonus: Your game ?! Crazy Toy-Con Garage Experiences

With the Toy-Con Garage VR, you can create your own VR games. Yes, you read that right, Nintendo provides a visual development interface to make your own creations and then test them out. Thanks to a library of 3D objects, you can create sets and install mechanisms. You can determine actions based on the player's actions. You directly test your game by pressing the play icon. It takes a little time to get started to fully understand the operations. Fortunately, the discovery mode introduces you to this powerful tool which increases the life of the pack tenfold.

Why Zelda Breath of The Wild is not in this selection

We have been eagerly awaiting the free Zelda update on Switch. Nintendo announced the possibility of playing the entire title with the Nintendo Labo VR Kit. We were able to try out the feature. As much to tell you immediately, we are disappointed. The developers did not adapt the camera. This remains behind the character. Above all, you strain your eyes before your wrists. Indeed, the 720p screen is clearly not suitable for the experience. Especially since Zelda does not have perfect technique. Some areas in non-VR mode cause serious slowdowns, such as Korogu Forest. In VR, a visit to this enchanting place assaults the senses. The size of the crystals on the screen, the pronounced aliasing, the half-mast FPS do not pay homage to this exceptional game.

Nintendo does not recommend playing the entire adventure in VR. The helmet seemed to adapt to the vision of a panorama, a kind of reward after climbing to the top of a tower. However, the display distance and the technical problems mentioned spoil this discovery. Clearly, we prefer Nintendo to announce a new compilation of VR minigames rather than a new attempt at adapting an existing game. Regarding Mario, you have the same problems. The shorter experience limits the damage more, but we don't recommend buying this title for its VR argument. He has many other qualities.

Quality / price ratio: a good investment for a Switch owner

If we add the assembly time, the entertainment provided by this step and the possibilities offered by the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, the Toy Con 04 pack is well worth the candle.. However, we must be aware that it is better to respect the age guidelines. Indeed, the effects of nausea and the big lines of pixels tire the eyes in the long run. The weight of the console presses lightly on the wrist and hand that wears the VR glasses. Even being aware of these negative points, the experience is for any Switch players. The discovery of this universe made of odds and ends is fun. We easily fall back into childhood.

For the little that we have the console, the investment of 30 or 69,99 euros is really not prohibitive. Better still, it is a ready-made gateway to VR. Indeed, not all parents themselves have discovered this technology. Unfortunately, the free bets for Super Mario Odyssey and Zelda: Breath of The Wild are not satisfactory. We hope that Nintendo will open access to its dev kit to third-party publishers. Some developers have said they are inclined to adapt their games to the device.

Nintendo Labo VR Kit against the competition

Difficult to compare this product to competitors. In itself, Nintendo's approach disrupts market habits. The most skeptical will compare this product to a simple Cardboard.

Nintendo Labo VR Kit VS Google Cardboard

Clearly, the Google Cardboard is used to watch videos from your phone. This is not the primary use for this product. Nintendo offers a product geared towards children. After assembling the different models, users try out a multitude of mini-games. The two objects therefore have little to do except the materials used and the basic handling. Additionally, Joy-cons offer greater control over what happens onscreen. Regarding image quality, it all depends on the smartphone and its panel. Difficult to give a clear opinion on this point.

Nintendo has Labo kit VR, VS eye Go

This is a more logical comparison. Indeed, the two helmets allow you to play in VR. In terms of ergonomics, l Eye Go takes it with its headband to place on the head. When it comes to controls, the Nintendo Labo VR Kit offers more freedom. The Oculus Go gives the impression of having an arm of Playmobil. Obviously, the Switch cannot compete with the visual quality of Go. Most of the games look better on the product offered by Facebook. In terms of autonomy, the VR Kit wins thanks to the console and its three hours of autonomy, against two hours for the Go.

Nintendo Labo VR Kit VS Samsung Gear VR

Among the alternatives to the Nintendo kit, we can also mention Samsung's Gear VR. This inexpensive VR headset works with some smartphones from the Korean manufacturer. If you have an extra compatible mobile at home, this is a very interesting option to introduce virtual reality to your child.

Compared to Nintendo's offer, Gear VR can boast of having a much better screen, since it uses that of the smartphone. As a result, we can enjoy a display that can go up to Quad-HD 2 960 x 1 pixels, not to mention the colors, the contrast of an AMOLED panel or HDR. Of course, everything will depend on the screen of the mobile.

Conversely, it will take a lower quality display of the Nintendo Switch with the Labo VR Kit. Indeed, we will have to limit ourselves to 1 x 280 pixels.

For the rest, the two solutions are equal, in particular on the quality of movement tracking. In both cases, we end up with a system with 3 degrees of freedom. It should also be noted that, if the Gear VR's controllers are of the same good quality as those of the Oculus Go, we cannot really take advantage of them, too few games actually using them.

Buy the Nintendo Labo VR Kit at the best price

Verdict

Good points

  • Plenty of games for fun

Negative points

  • Durability of the object
  • Technical limitations difficult to forget
  • Feeling of nausea on certain experiences
  • Too many small pieces of unused cardboard

notation

7.1

Design: Nintendo relies less on a clean design and a childish side to compensate for the fact that the accessories are made of cardboard.


Editing: Clearly, everything has been designed to delight the child builders. The instructions are clearer than those of a lego. That is to say. You just have to pay attention to the passages with elastics and eyelets.


Graphics: The big flaw of this Nintendo Labo VR Kit. The Switch screen quality does not provide the best quality available on the market.


Playability: The different accessories associated with the joy-cons offer multiple possibilities for the players. We regret having to hold the helmet to enjoy it.


Quality / price ratio: For Switch owners, it's a way to discover VR at a low price. Others will prefer to wait for the Oculus Quest.

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