Two sets of news concerning Nintendo’s current (and possibly future) plans for the Switch have cropped up recently, the release of a Nintendo Labo VR and the possible rumor of a Switch Mini (I must emphasize that the latter has not been confirmed by Nintendo). And I can’t help but speculate that, if rumors of the Switch Mini turn out to be true, there might be a connection to Labo VR that I’d like to explore further in the following post.
Let’s begin with the news that is completely true, Labo VR. In case you’re unfamiliar with Labo, I actually wrote a post about it early last year. In summary, Labo is a set of cardboard kits that can be built and combined with the Switch to play mini games. It is clearly aimed towards kids, and Labo VR seems to be no different, as some of the kits have you building cardboard elephants and something resembling a bird. So for now, no serious VR aimed towards Nintendo fans in general seems to be on the way in the near future.
I will be elaborating a bit more on the topic of VR soon, but for now, let’s move on to the rumors of a Switch Mini. As the name suggests, this would potentially involve a smaller Switch with reduced features and a reduced price. Speculation online guesses that the Switch Mini will have no dock and the Joy-cons may not be detachable. Now, this is rather confusing because that would imply the Switch Mini would not be a hybrid console like the regular Switch, unless there is some alternative way of connecting it to the TV and playing it like a regular console. On the other hand, the DS and 3DS came in three sizes, regular, small, and large, so I don’t think the idea of a smaller Switch is too far-fetched considering its dual role as a console and a handheld.
Now, here is where the post delves into pure speculation. Nintendo Labo, though…creative, doesn’t seem like the most sustainable idea. Now that the original Labo kits have been out for about a year, I hear people saying that they, or their kids, found the Labo to be a fun novelty for a few days or so, before the whole thing was eventually reduced to a pile of cardboard accessories that they have since lost interest in. Though I believe Labo’s days are numbered, VR, on the other hand, could be a great way for Nintendo to expand on the Switch’s capabilities.
This is where the Switch Mini comes in. Samsung already has VR that includes your Samsung smartphone, and Google has already created Google Cardboard for one’s smartphone, as well. With that in mind, a smaller Switch could be as portable as a smartphone, so I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to think that Nintendo might decide to follow in Samsung and Google’s footsteps and start having their fans strapping mini Switches to their faces for a VR experience that would appeal to gamers of all ages, not just kids. The Switch already has a distinct benefit over the PS4 and XBox One in its portability, so why not take further advantage and integrate VR?
What do you guys think? Do you think a non-Labo version of VR could be in store for the Switch’s future? If so, would you be interested in trying it out? Don’t forget to share your comments below!