Five years ago today, Nintendo told the world to get creative and create pianos, fishing rods, and — eventually — a giant cardboard VR headset. That's right, Nintendo Labo is half a decade old, and as we look back, we're feeling a little bit fond.
Debuting in April 2018, this quasi-toys-to-life creation may have essentially been pieces of cardboard that came with instructions to create fun ways to interact with Switch games, but it's unabashedly Nintendo. It's unique, promotes play and creativity, and no one else has tried it yet.
The cardboard is a lot sturdier than you might expect — though we maybe wouldn't test it out with a very needy kitten — and many first-party titles could be played with these creative controllers. Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey (among other games) both got a VR mode for the headset (which launched the following year), and the motorbike Toy-Con was the perfect accompaniment for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
The real magic comes with the software that came with the Labo kits. Toy-Con Garage allowed you to create and program your own Toy-Con and experiment with basic programming commands. You didn't need to use the Labo kit either — you could use your own materials to create some truly unique and beautiful creations. We even had a go ourselves! And back when the Labo first launched, Nintendo ran a competition to see who could make the best brand-new Labo kit. And the results are wonderful.