Earlier this week, Nintendo unveiled its Labo line for the Switch, and most would agree that it looks like yet another example of the company’s unbridled creativity. The German ratings board, on the other hand, thought it was a bunch of trash.
On Thursday, January 18, Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) tweeted about a near-miss that took place when Nintendo submitted Labo for classification. The unconventional self-assembly peripherals that make the project so unique were almost placed straight in the garbage by cleaning staff.
For the uninitiated, Labo hinges around real-world items ranging from a miniature piano to a fishing rod that use the capabilities of the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers and its detachable display to bring about new gameplay experiences. These toy controllers are printed on sheets of cardboard, before being assembled by the player with the help of video tutorials.
When new software is submitted to the USK, it rarely comes with sheets of cardboard attached. As a result, the cleaners assumed it was simply some unwanted waste paper and came very close to disposing of it, according to a report from Game Informer.
Nintendo managed to do an exemplary job of keeping Labo under wraps, and the project was a genuine surprise when it was unveiled by a slickly edited teaser video. It’s strange to think that its existence could have been revealed ahead of time by a few stray sheets of cardboard that were thrown out in error, should they have fallen into the wrong hands.
Of course, that assumes that anyone who happened upon the components would have had any clue what they were for. Without the instructions to put them together — and advance knowledge of their relation to the Switch — it would have been difficult to grasp their purpose. This time a week ago, who among us would have guessed that Nintendo’s next big idea involved sheets of cardboard?
The first two installments in Nintendo Labo series are scheduled to release on April 20. The Variety Kit is set to cost $70, while the Robot Kit is priced at $80. A Customization Set intended to add a personal spin to the controllers is coming out on the same day for $10.