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April 2018 Retro Gaming Article

April 20, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Nintendo's LABO is on retail shelves and far more clever than the moronic “cardboard” jokes

Nintendo's LABO display
If you compare Nintendo's strategy with their competitors, LABO is pure genius.
Nintendo's LABO is not your average Nintendo product and certainly a departure from most things gamers have come to expect from a game console. LABO is about building and creating. Sure, you ultimately get to prove your creations in a variety of mini games, but the journey is where this product shines.

The Trolls only see cardboard. Gamers see new opportunity in LABO!
When the concept was initially introduced by Nintendo, it was obvious that LABO had a very specific audience. Those outside that audience made it clear that they were highly intelligent, superior to all, and do not pay for cardboard. Those of us who think and live outside the box smirked at their stance knowing how innovative LABO woud be.

The trolls called it cardboard and tried to impress us by stating that they would not be paying for a box full of cardboard. LABO enables "video games" to enter into a broader area. You don't simply insert the game cartridge and sit on the couch battling foes and solving puzzles. It's an experience.

You have to build physical things from the cardboard templates. You must think and explore. The cardboard templates seem daunting but, combined with detailed instructions on your Switch's screen, each project takes between 30 and 90 minutes to complete.

The engineering accuracy of the templates is inspiring!
Along the way the instructions are as much a learning guide to the device you're building as they are assembly instructions. The wonderful thing about LABO is how encompassing it is. This isn't the game you run off to play in quiet solitude. LABO is ideal for a family gathering or a bunch of friends. The more people the better. Ideas begin to fly as the group tackles each project. It's a very unique experience I've never seen from a game developer.

I think LABO will unite groups and let then discover the satisfaction of problem-solving in a group dynamic. Good fun for all. And just because you've completed the build... get out the markers and stickers to customize your creations!

LABO's Clever Tact

After the Wii U was derided and removed from the marketplace, fear set into the gaming world as gamers and Devs wondered if Nintendo's days were numbered. When the Switch was announced, there was trepidation. It sounded innovative - being a handheld and living room console - but it was unproven. The haters instantly jumped on it's stats and said it was underpowered like most of Nintendo's consoles. Yes, like other Nintendo consoles that were phenomenal successes, but haters don't think things out too far.

Nintendo's LABO piano After a year, the Switch's dominance and success is nearly unparalleled. Those Devs who were overly cautious are dying to get their games onto Nintendo's Switch. All those articles about it being underpowered, being a toy, have dried up. Most articles herald Nintendo's return from the Wii U's demise. But what have Sony and Microsoft done? They've done a lot, in fact.

Sony released the PS4 Pro with additional horsepower to drive their VR headset and growing game library. That gives us tow PS4 models to choose from. Microsoft went a similar direction and released a substantial processing upgrade to the Xbox One resulting in the Xox One X. Looking back at the confusion consumers seemed to have between the Wii and Wii U, how are Sony and Microsofts newest consoles fairing at retail?

While the other two went with hardware/processor upgrades, Nintendo opened the Switch up to an entirely different use. Piggybacking on the STEM movement, LABO brings a whole new way of thinking and building to video games. Groups of friends and family can join in to create the various buildables. Without altering any part of the Switch, Nintendo has given it an entirely new way to be used - from screen to Joycons. This is a very clever batch of cardboard.

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