Nintendo Labo Video Explains How The Piano, IR Camera And Cardboard Works
Nintendo Labo Piano

A lot of people think the Nintendo Labo is pure horse crap. Plenty of people downvoted the trailer when it appeared on YouTube, and most internet denizens see it as an expensive way for Nintendo to sell you cardboard at a premium price.

Some outlets managed to get hands-on time with the Nintendo Labo to play-test it for themselves, and this resulted in some video footage capturing how some of the software, firmware, and cardboard work together for the various mini-games and construction activities available within the bundle pack.

The anti-#GamerGate outlet, The Verge, did a video demonstration that actually breaks down a lot of the working parts of how the Switch’s interface works with the cardboard kits to create the mini-game experience provided within Nintendo Labo.

For the remote controlled doggy device, the Switch is used like a remote control, and the direction of the device is controlled using the HD Rumble in the Joy-Cons to move the device forward, back, left and right. The IR camera on the front of the right Joy-Con works as a viewport so users can control the device even when it’s outside of view.

Nintendo Labo - IR Stickers

We also learn that various mini-games utilize the IR camera to track white stickers on the cardboard structures. When placed in specific positions and red by the IR camera, it can trigger different responses from the software. A prime example of this is with the piano mini-game.

Each of the keys on the keyboard have a sticker on the back so that the IR camera on the red Joy-Con can pick up on which key is being pressed and it sends to the code to the software to correspond the sticker being in view or not in view as an attachment to the sound being cued on the Switch itself. So it’s a pseudo method of getting people to think they’re playing a piano. In a really weird way, you could actually use it to learn basic piano lessons for just $69.99… which may or may not be cheaper than buying a keyboard and a basic piano book.

Nintendo Labo - Robot IR Stickers

We also learn that the IR camera is utilized to read the stickers in the backpack for the robot game. Based on the movement of the stickers determines how the robot moves in the game.

It still remains to be seen just how well this will work in actual practice, but the whole cardboard getup is a heck of lot more complicated than you might have expected. In fact, it’s almost like they might have been prototyping this for something far more compelling, but decided to skimp out by turning it into cardboard mini-projects.

Obviously the media is instantly bought on the idea because they don’t play many games and anything that isn’t Dark Souls is probably new to them.

You’ll be able to see Nintendo Labo on store shelves when the robot set hits for $79.99 and the standard kit is made available for $69.99 starting April 20th.


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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