Nintendo Labo Will Let You Program Your Own Custom Robots


When Nintendo Labo launches this April, it will come with a feature called Toy Con Garage that lets you use rudimentary programming to build and customise your own cardboard robots, Nintendo announced today. Some of the custom toys Nintendo showed off included an electric guitar and a basic game of electronic tennis.

At an event in New York today, Nintendo representatives demonstrated this Toy Con Garage, which uses simple “building blocks” to let you program your devices. They’re essentially “if-then” statements. When you open up the program, you can select from a number of blocks based on input options for your Switch’s controllers, then connect them to other blocks based on output options. For example, you can connect the left Switch controller’s up button (input) to the right Switch controller’s vibration feature (output), so whenever you press up on the left Joy Con, the right Joy Con will buzz.

This is how Nintendo Labo users will be able to expand beyond the six types of cardboard creations included in the Variety Set or the one included in the Robot Set. Instead of making a piano, you can make a guitar. Instead of making a toy car, you can build a little cardboard man who falls flat on his face. You can mix and match different programs’ functionality – using the fishing rod to play music, for example – and you can even add extra Joy Cons to build even more elaborate programs.

Nintendo would not allow attendants to take pictures or videos of Toy Con Garage, although saw a video at the event that will likely be put on Nintendo’s YouTube channel later. The company did show off a few seconds of this feature during the original Nintendo Labo reveal a few weeks ago:

The building blocks look like that.

We’ll have more on Nintendo Labo, including hands-on impressions and videos, in the very near future. The wild new cardboard toys come out on April 20.


  • Hopefully we can have some way to import other peoples work. I’m not up manual entry of some elaborate program, it might give people flashbacks to gen one manual entry of mobile ring tones again!

    • When I was a kid, PC magazines would give pages of instructions that you could hand enter to make your own games in basic.

      That said, this is amazing. I think they’re onto a winner, here.

    • Man, I swapped over from my 8210 to an 8250 just so I could make my own custom ringtones. That thing was great.

      …I miss my little green baby 🙁

  • Nintendo is really hamstringing themselves with the insistence on using the controllers in what seems to be an attempt to justify putting so many bells and whistles in them. Why don’t they come up with their own set of control devices that can be integrated into things and controlled via the switch Joy cons? The market for smart device controlled toys is still young and Nintendo has a prime opportunity to capitalise on that. Limiting themselves to two vibration devices and an optical sensor severely limits their capability to do that though, especially since you then lose the tactile controls of the Joy cons and have to rely on the less precise touch controls.

    • This was surely an idea way back. Probably part of the reason for the IR camera. Rumble and other stuff is just standard for a controller anyway.

      They waited to release because this would not have looked good being announced at launch. They knew they had some killer games to win people over to the Switch in the first year.

      Looking at the issues people had with the price, I don’t think we are going to get add ons, that would just jack the price up even further.

    • I mainly can’t believe they only put the IR camera in one joycon and not both – and I first thought that because of that one 1-2-Switch game that uses it and makes you swap controllers between players instead of going head-to-head like the other games. Surely the possibilities with Labo would have been vastly greater with two than just one.

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