Nintendo Switch
Cool factor 5/5
Usability 5/5
Value for money 5/5

The hi-tech Nintendo Switch has a very low-tech new accessory range, made of cardboard, that is loads of fun.

Nintendo is a master of reinvention, and the Switch hand-held gaming console has given the 129-year-old company, which started out making card-based games, yet another lease of life.

It’s a brilliant gaming device you can play by itself on its 6-inch screen and slot into a charging dock to play on your TV. And now you can also use it with a clever range of cardboard accessories.

The Switch (R6,500) has one controller at each end that slides off but still connects to the console via Bluetooth, a bit like the Wiimote (Wii Remote) that came with Nintendo’s previous company-saving-product, 2006’s Wii.

When you play games on your TV, the Switch remotes remain your controller but clip into a holder, making it easier to hold.

The Labo flat-packed range (from R1,000) is just brilliant. It demonstrates remarkable lateral thinking about what can be done with the Switch and its detachable controllers, one of which has an infrared sensor.

Once it’s assembled, you place the controllers into prepared slots, where they use their accelerometers to sense movement. One of the kits creates a piano with keys that have a little strip of reflective tape that the infrared controller detects when they are depressed.

Another turns the wearer into a robot (with a backpack and a set of attachments for hands and feet), while there’s a steering wheel to use with that famous Nintendo classic, Mario Kart. A new kit that turns the device into a VR headset was set to be launched this week.

The Labo series is a wonderful reinvention of a clever device, and especially great for children.

There are rumours of two new Switch models coming this year, including the use of virtual reality.

If it’s true and those take off, it will be yet another deserving reinvention.