In a surprise announcement this morning, Nintendo revealed a free downloadable update for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe that will allow the Switch game to be controlled using the Toy-Con Motorbike controller constructed with the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit.
As shown in a brief preview video, the cardboard enclosure uses the Joy-Con’s gyroscopic motion sensing to detect a handle twist for acceleration and leaning to steer. Cardboard protrusions on the motorbike controller can push buttons on the Joy-Cons to activate items, braking, and drifting. Four sets of motorbike controllers can be used on the game simultaneously.
The setup reminds us of nothing so much as the plastic Wii Wheel accessory that came with Mario Kart Wii, albeit with a bit more assembly required—Nintendo recommends 90 to 150 minutes to put together the Toy-Con motorbike.
While the Labo software already encourages users to design, construct, and program their own Switch-based cardboard devices, this is the first sign Nintendo is interested in expanding the Labo construction concept to work with outside software. And it’s not likely to be the last: in a press release, Nintendo says “more titles will be compatible with Nintendo Labo in the future.”
Listing image by Nintendo