Nintendo’s Labo VR headset is far from the most advanced VR tech out there. But the company insists it hasn’t “fallen behind” with the technology.
Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto himself said as much in a recent Nintendo Shareholders Q&A. “We have not fallen behind with either VR or network services,” Miyamoto said. “We worked on them from the very beginning, and have been experimenting with them in a variety of ways.”
For VR, that meant this year’s release of the Nintendo Labo VR Kit. Building on the existing Labo line, it offers a set of make-it-yourself cardboard peripherals, including a VR viewer you slot the Switch into. The experience it offers is undoubtedly creaky – it’s only got three degrees of freedom (3DOF) tracking and a blurry 720p display. But the DIY aspect of the product definitely has its charms.
“Because we don’t publicize this until we release a product, it may look like we’re falling behind,” Miyamoto continued. “In regards to VR, we think that we have created a product that is easy for our consumers to use in the recently released Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 04: VR Kit. Nintendo consumers encompass a wide range of ages, including young children, so we will continue to create and announce products that can be enjoyed by anyone.”
While Labo VR certainly is accessible, the quality of compatible content on the platform, such as the VR support for The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild and Super Smash Bros Ultimate, is often pretty low. We’d love to see the company come out with a higher-grade device that offered a more palatable experience. We’ll keep out fingers crossed for now.