Nintendo has unveiled a Switch console whose Joy-Cons and dock look like they're crafted from cardboard. But you can't purchase this limited edition Switch--you have to win it as part of the Nintendo Labo Creators Contest that will run from July 19 to August 20.
The gaming icon has enticed consumers with various colors of its Joy-Con controllers ever since the Switch debuted. The base console arrived with gray and neon red-and-blue options; Arms, Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey were accompanied by yellow, purple-and-green and brick red offerings.
Now, Nintendo is temping gamers with a special cardboard Switch only available through a Nintendo Labo contest. Nintendo Labo is essentially a platform that allows you to build your own Switch peripherals from cardboard. It sells a Variety Kit that offers several of these unique peripherals (or Toy-Con), as well as a Robot Kit that lets you control an in-game robot. Nintendo doesn't just want you to use its own cardboard add-ons, though, and instead hopes Nintendo Labo will inspire Switch owners to embrace their creativity. The Nintendo Labo Creators Contest is the company's way of focusing those creative energies and rewarding the most innovative participants.
The Nintendo Labo Creators Contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada--excluding Quebec--above the age of 13 who own a Switch and Nintendo Labo kit. Two grand prize winners will receive the limited edition Switch, a Nintendo Labo Creators Jacket and an award certificate. Eight runners-up will get the limited edition Joy-Con, Nintendo Labo Creators Jacket and an award certificate. Nintendo pegs the value of the prizes at around $3,640, which isn't a bad haul for playing with cardboard.
Labo Support Heads to 'Mario Kart 8 Deluxe'
Nintendo also announced that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, a remastered version of the Wii U game that smashed previous sales records when it debuted in May 2017, is the first non-Labo game to support the platform. Now you can use the Toy-Con Motorbike from the Variety Kit to control your racer, and it works pretty much like you would expect. You steer by tilting the Toy-Con, you accelerate by twisting its right handlebar and you use the Joy-Con to perform other tasks. Given our habit of "leaning in" to turns, this feature will likely be a welcome addition for Labo owners.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe won't be the only non-Labo game to support the cardboard peripherals. Nintendo said the racing title is merely "the first game outside of Nintendo Labo software to receive Toy-Con support" and that "more titles will be compatible with Nintendo Labo in the future."
Toy-Con support probably won't be a core aspect of most games since it's restricted to people who care about the Labo platform, but it's a nice addition for people who want to experiment with the Switch's and Labo's capabilities instead of simply using the officially licensed controllers.