TOKYO (AFP) - Nintendo sparked fierce debate Thursday with a new line of cardboard DIY accessories for its smash-hit Switch console, delighting some fans, but leaving others bemused by the low-tech offering.
The Nintendo Labo is a range of pre-perforated cardboard sheets that users fold into holders for the Switch and its controllers. They range from a mini piano to a fishing rod, and users can manipulate the DIY holders to interact with the Switch as they play games, for example pressing a cardboard piano key to produce music.
Nintendo unveiled the line with a slick video, featuring ways the accessories can be customised with stickers and paint.
"With Nintendo Labo, building is just as much fun as playing," the company said.
Reaction online was mixed, with many Nintendo users hailing the unusual idea. "This isn't something I'm personally interested (in) but I just love how Nintendo continues to be unique and innovative," wrote user Matt Martin on the Twitter account @missingwords.
But others baulked at the cost of the kits, which will go on sale April 20 priced at $69.99 for a set of five different DIY sheets, or $79.99 for a single more elaborate "robot kit."
"Feel free to tell me I'm nuts... but doesn't $70+ for the Nintendo Labo cardboard stuff seem incredibly expensive for something that's not that durable, especially in the hands of kids?" wrote Jason Stoff on the @jstoff Twitter account.
"I applaud Nintendo's ingenuity, but I'm not handing my $300 Switch and an $80 cardboard box over to my kids," added Twitter user @Matt-Silverman.
Investors responded positively however, with Nintendo stock closing up over two percent.
"This is extremely fresh. It's a surprise," Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute, told Bloomberg.
"It's hard to estimate how much it will sell. They're targeting families, so likely kids will buy it first, but it could broaden to other generations."
Nintendo launched the Switch console in March 2017, and aims to sell 14 million units through March 2018.