The Switch’s Nintendo Labo VR Kit is going to give us new ways to play two of the company’s best-loved games ever.

As cool as the concept of virtual reality video games is, there are a couple of serious hurdles developers face. First off is price, as consumers have been unwilling, in large numbers, to shell out for pricey VR headset add-ons for their consoles and PCs. That leads right into the second problem: since few people have VR setups, developers generally aren’t willing to invest the time and money to make lengthy, high-quality games with VR features.

But later this month Nintendo is going to address both of those issues when it releases its VR Kit for the Switch console. Part of the build-it-yourself-out-of-cardboard Nintendo Labo product line, the VR Kit is available for as little as 3,980 yen (US$36), thanks to the fact that the Switch’s main unit itself is basically a high-powered tablet with motion sensors/controls.

OK, so that solves the cost issue. But what about games? On that end, Nintendo has announced that the VR Kit will be compatible with the most recent installments of its two biggest franchises: Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

▼ VR Kit Super Mario Odyssey trailer

What’s more, Nintendo isn’t looking to squeeze extra cash out of players by offering the VR modes in pricy DLC. Instead, they’re coming as part of free update patches for the games, which will become available on April 26.

▼VR Kit The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild trailer

For Super Mario Odyssey, VR players will be able to use the headset for special modes in three areas of the game, Cap Kingdom, Seaside Kingdom, Luncheon Kingdom, to search for coins and musical notes. Meanwhile, Nintendo says that the entirety of Breath of the Wild can be played in VR mode, and that you can switch back and forth between VR and normal play at any time you want.

The new VR modes won’t quite provide the effect of inhabiting the bodies of Mario and Link, as neither game’s VR mode turns the perspective into first-person. Still, the ability to swing your head back and forth and see the worlds that Nintendo’s greatest heroes adventure in spread out all around you sounds like a real treat, and Nintendo adding VR to its AAA games might be a sign that it’s genuinely committed to making the Labo VR Kit more than a short-lived gimmick.

Source: Nintendo via IT Media
Top image: YouTube/任天堂ホームページ
Insert image: Nintendo 
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