Nintendo Labo explains VR appeal as Oculus launches Quest

The Nintendo Labo VR Kit is part of a range that encourages play, experimentation and learning. — AFP Relaxnews

The Oculus Quest, a wireless, hands-free, all-in-one VR headset, launched May 21, prompting Nintendo to go to bat for its own self-assembly VR Kit for the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo Labo director Tsubasa Sakaguchi presents a brief four-minute explainer for the Nintendo Switch's VR Kit, showing how it can be used to make and play a variety of VR games.

The whistle-stop tour covers creating simple VR games using the kit's Toy-Con Garage software, sampling some of the 64 Nintendo-made games within the VR Plaza compilation, and how some of the self-assembly Toy-Con controller mounts work.

He also demonstrates how each of the VR Plaza games can be made to show their inner workings, allowing players to tweak and edit game rules as curiosity and ingenuity dictates.

Building on the self-assembly card goggles supplied through Google's Cardboard line, the US$39.99 (RM167.72) Nintendo Labo Toy-Con VR Kit works with the US$299 (RM1,254) Nintendo Switch console.

It's not hands-free – users have to hold the VR Kit up to their eyes, with Nintendo selling various additional console housings that look like a camera, bird, blaster, and even an elephant.

By contrast, the Oculus Quest, a product of Facebook's VR arm, starts at US$399 (RM1,674) – or US$499 (RM2,093) for a model with 128GB of storage instead of 64GB) – and does not need a sturdy PC or smartphone – or the Nintendo Switch – to power it, though users should not expect to experiment with making their own games.

The battery-powered Quest, which has a head strap and boasts a higher definition display, comes with built-in sensors for room-scale tracking and a pair of handheld Oculus Touch controllers.

Further up the ladder, Virtual Reality options include the PlayStation 4's PS VR (US$299 + a US$299-US$399 console) and the HTC Vive (US$449 to US$1,399 or RM1,883.24 to RM5,868), Oculus Rift S (US$449) and Valve Index (US$499-US$999 (RM4,190)) ranges for sufficiently powerful PCs. – AFP Relaxnews

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