Nintendo just unveiled an $80 cardboard VR headset for the Switch console

  • The device is Nintendo's first foray into VR since it release the Virtual Boy in 1995.
  • It costs $80, comes with an alien shooter game and hits the shelves on April 12.
  • The move suggests an attempt to mass market an affordable VR headset.
Nintendo Labo's new cardboard virtual reality headset for the Switch.
Nintendo
Nintendo Labo's new cardboard virtual reality headset for the Switch.

Nintendo has revealed a virtual reality headset based around its Labo line of cardboard gaming accessories for the Switch gaming console.

The device is Nintendo's first foray into VR since it release the Virtual Boy in 1995, a console that was marketed as the first capable of stereoscopic 3D graphics — but widely panned as a commercial failure.

It's evocative of Google's Cardboard, a simple $15 headset with a cardboard casing and VR goggles for people to use with their smartphones. In Nintendo's case, the headset is intended to be attached to the Switch.

The Labo VR kit comes with no straps, Nintendo said. Instead, it's slipped onto the Switch and held up close to a player's eyes. It costs around $80, comes with an alien shooter game and hits the shelves on April 12.

The do-it-yourself Labo range is meant to appeal to both children and adults. With the VR kit costing $80 — Sony's PlayStation VR headset has a heftier $300 price tag — the device aligns with Google Cardboard's aim of making the technology more accessible.

"This new kit builds on the core tenets of Nintendo Labo… to introduce virtual reality in a way that's fun and approachable for both kids and kids at heart," Nintendo of America's new incoming President Doug Bowser said in a statement.

Nintendo's VR announcement comes amid concerns over how it manages to boost the appeal of the Switch against a backdrop of declining sales. The Japanese gaming giant recently cut its sales guidance for the console.