Mario Kart 8 is now playable with the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit, with the DIY set now allowing players to utilize the Toy-Con Motorbike handlebars as a controller. The new feature is the first time that the Nintendo Labo has been made compatible with another Switch game, with a free Mario Kart 8 update introducing functionality between the game and the cardboard controller.
The Nintendo Labo performed moderately well for Nintendo, though struggled in the UK and Japanese markets at launch. However, it looks like Nintendo has alternative methods of increasing sales for the unique peripheral, with Mario Kart 8 potentially being the first in a series of games that introduce Labo functionality. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime recently said that the Labo’s sales would grow stronger in the future. “Labo is the type of game, much like Brain Age for the Nintendo DS, much like Wii Fit, it’s a game that’s going to sell for a very long time at a very steady pace,” he told The Verge.
The Toy-Con Motorbike handlebars are used to control karts and bikes in the game, allowing players to steer using motion control and accelerate using its cardboard buttons. The Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons handily fit inside the handlebars, allowing players to navigate its various courses by tilting the handlebars and pushing on its cardboard buttons. While die-hard Mario Kart 8 players are unlikely to replace their Pro Controllers for the Labo set, it will certainly be appealing to youngsters and introduces a great reason to pick up the Labo for kids.
The description for the new Mario Kart 8 update reads: “Enjoy every game mode and every vehicle type with this immersive, interactive controller option. Up to four players can play at the same time with their own Toy-Con Motorbike creations and Joy-Con controllers. Play in TV Mode or with your Nintendo Switch system inserted directly into your Motorbike.”
Check out the Nintendo Labo in action with Mario Kart 8 in the video below:
It was always clear to see how the Toy-Con Motorbike handlebars would work with racing games, though it’s less clear how the Labo will work with other games in the Switch library. For instance, we can’t imagine that the Labo Fishing Rod will receive much use outside of incredibly niche software, while the Toy-Con Piano faces a similar struggle. Still, we’re interested to see what Nintendo has up its sleeve for its DIY peripheral.
What do you think of the Nintendo Labo and its Mario Kart 8 functionality? Let us know in the comments below.