The Nintendo Switch will be getting some simple virtual reality games thanks to the new Labo sets. The VR Labo Kits will include a pair of goggles that are required in order to use the other Labo sets, which include the Bird, the Blaster, the Camera, the Elephant, and the Wind Pedal.
Nintendo has yet to release any footage of the games that will be compatible with the VR sets, but they have revealed that the Blaster game will involve fighting off an alien invasion, while the Camera game will involve taking pictures of sea life in the ocean.
The entire Labo VR set can be purchased for $79.99, so Nintendo will need to have some games available in order to make the purchase worthwhile. We are here today to break down several possible ideas that could be used for the VR Labo sets.
The Goggles - It's The Virtual Boy's Time To Shine
All of the Labo VR sets will require the use of the VR Goggles in order to function, as the other five kits work around them in some capacity.
The VR Goggles could also be used in other ways. It would be possible to add games from the library of the poor, abandoned Virtual Boy to the Nintendo Switch Online service and make them compatible with the VR Goggles, as they both use a similar technique to create a false 3D effect. Nintendo could also release a Virtual Boy collection as a separate purchase, but that wouldn't exactly be a killer's row of games.
In terms of making first-party games compatible with the VR Goggles, there isn't much available that would a) look impressive and b) run smoothly. One of the best choices might be Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, as racing games tend to fare well in VR due to how they work on a relatively flat plane and how turning is generally smooth rather than instant. ARMS is another possibility, but the player might get queasy if they jump around too much or if they are dragged towards the enemy as part of a throw.
Bird Kit - You Know, For All Those Bird Games
It seems like it would be hard to make games for the Bird Kit outside of something extremely specific. Nintendo will almost certainly release a game that lets you play from the perspective of a bird, but how many other titles could make use of the Bird Kit?
It turns out that there are actually quite a few games where you play as a bird, such as Copoka or Fugl, both of which can be purchased on Steam. There are also several Bird Simulator games available on the market. The Bird Kit for Nintendo Labo might be the bizarre peripheral that these indie bird games have been waiting for.
Blaster Kit - Duck Hunt FPS
The Blaster Kit might be the easiest Labo VR set to make games for. We know for a fact that there is an alien invasion game being released for it, but that's all that we know so far.
One way in which the Blaster Kit could work is by making it compatible with the light gun games given away as part of Nintendo Switch Online, which could make games like Duck Hunt, Hogan's Alley, and Wild Gunman playable on the Switch.
The Nintendo Wii also had an abundance of light-gun-style games that used the Wiimote as a controller, which could be repurposed for the Switch. We could see upscaled versions of Link's Crossbow Training, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, or a collection of The House of the Dead games that could work with the Blaster.
There are also lots of shooting games available for other VR platforms that could be ported over to the Nintendo Switch, as they tend to work well in virtual reality.
Camera Kit - This Should Be Obvious
There is a really obvious idea for the Camera Kit, but we doubt it will get made.
The Camera Kit would be a perfect fit for a Pokémon Snap sequel. But Nintendo already skipped that possibility with the Wii U, which would have been the perfect platform for the game.
That said, there is a nostalgia boom going on with the Pokémon franchise thanks to Pokémon Go, the Let's Go games, and the upcoming Detective Pikachu movie, so maybe the time is right for Pokémon Snap 2.
The Camera Kit would also be an amazing fit for a Fatal Frame game, except for the fact that the Labo is generally advertised towards children and nothing would rack up complaints on the Nintendo Twitter page quicker than children being scarred for life by Japanese ghosts.
The fact that Nintendo has added image sharing to the Switch means that a Pokémon Snap-style game could easily be in the works, which could possibly be set in the Mushroom Kingdom or Hyrule and use existing assets from games that have already been released, in an effort to get fans to share their photos en masse on social media in the same way that fans of games like God of War, Grand Theft Auto V, and Spider-Man have done in the past.
Elephant Kit - Up Periscope!
The Elephant Kit might end up being the least-used of the Labo VR sets, as how many games will let you play as an elephant? It isn't exactly a booming market.
There will almost certainly be a game included with the Elephant Kit that lets you play as an elephant and lets you squirt things with water, but there isn't much else you can do with the concept unless Disney really wants to make a first-person game to promote the upcoming Dumbo movie. There is also a terrible looking mobile game called Elephant Simulator that could be ported to the Switch with a new first-person mode that uses the Elephant Kit.
Maybe it would be possible to repurpose the Elephant Kit as a Submarine Kit and use it as a periscope?
Wind Pedal Kit - Mario Kart FPS
We were given a brief glimpse of the Wind Pedal Kit during the initial Nintendo Labo trailer and it's hard to tell the difference between it and the pedal that is available as part of the Vehicle Kit. It's possible that the only difference is that one Joy-Con will be part of the Wind Pedal while the other is connected to the VR Goggles.
The Wind Pedal could possibly be used as part of a racing game, with the player turning the VR Goggles in order to turn their vehicle. It's also possible that the Wind Pedal is used as part of a first-person platform game or a game where you need to increase your height by pumping the pedal as if you were blowing a gust of wind beneath yourself. It's tricky to say as we haven't seen much of how the Wind Pedal actually works in comparison to the pedal that is part of the Vehicle Kit.