nintendo labo

Nintendo and Institute of Play Bringing Nintendo Labo to Schools

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Nintendo has partnered with non-profit educational company Institute of Play to provide Nintendo Labo kits to elementary schools across the US. The Nintendo Labo Classroom Program aims to reach 2,000 students between the ages of 8-11.

Nintendo Labo kits include DIY buildable cardboard pieces that kids (and adults) can integrate with the Joy-Con controllers of the Switch to create interactive playsets. Examples in the Variety Kit include a fishing rod, a piano, and a remote controlled car. They’re powered by the Toy-Con Garage software, which introduces basic programming language to a wide audience.

The Institute of Play is building a full-fledged curriculum for teachers on using Nintendo Labo in the classroom. The company is made up of educators, researchers, and game designers.

“We are always on the lookout for new tools and technologies that combine the best of learning with the spirit of play, and in Nintendo Labo we found an inspiring and innovative approach in both areas,” said Arana Shapiro, Co-Executive Director of the Institute of Play. “Teachers in the pilot program are already seeing the natural fit for Nintendo Labo in the classroom, and now we can bring that dynamic to schools across the country.”

A pilot program will initially roll out to schools in the New York area. Nintendo and the Institute of Play will use these classes to develop a teacher guide and lesson plans for using Nintendo Labo to teach programming and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math). The Nintendo Labo Teacher Guide will be available for free later this fall.

After the pilot program is complete, the Nintendo Labo Classroom Program will expand to 100 schools across the country. Each school will be provided with Switch systems and Nintendo Labo: Variety Kits, as well as the teacher guide. The program will run through the full school year.

The program is also being offered in Canada through Actua, Canada’s leading education-outreach organization for STEAM.

“The ingenuity of Nintendo Switch brings Nintendo Labo to life to provide a fun way for kids to explore basic STEAM topics together and be entertained while building a fundamental understanding of the technology behind them,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America, President.  “We hope our programs in the United States and Canada encourage kids to explore, tinker, problem-solve and, in the process, get excited about design and technology – all while having fun.”

Nintendo Switch Holiday Experience

Visit the Nintendo Switch Holiday Experience at Select Malls

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If you live near a major city in the US (or make an annual mall holiday shopping pilgrimage), chances are you can visit the Nintendo Switch Holiday Experience. The pop-up Nintendo booth is free to the public and will feature several playable Switch games, including the highly anticipated Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

“With the Nintendo Switch Holiday Experience, we wanted to give families a place to take a break and play some fun games during their holiday shopping,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior VP of Sales and Marketing. “Being able to play games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate before they launch is a great way to inform shopping decisions and educate people about what Nintendo has to offer this holiday season.”

Featured games at the Nintendo Switch Holiday Experience include Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (releasing Dec. 7), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Party, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee (releasing Nov. 16), and Overcooked 2.

Visitors can also check out the Nintendo Labo: Vehicle Kit as well as a Fortnite-themed photo booth. My Nintendo rewards members will be able to scan a QR code to receive a special holiday gift.

The Nintendo Switch Holiday Experience will be available between 4pm and 9pm Monday-Thursday, 3pm to 9pm on Fridays, 10am to 9pm on Saturday, and 11am to 6pm on Sundays. The event booth will be located at the following malls and shopping centers around the country, beginning November 10 (Nov. 11 for Houston).

  • Mall of Georgia in Buford, Georgia
  • Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois
  • Memorial City Mall in Houston, Texas
  • Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, California
  • The Florida Mall in Orlando, Florida
  • Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota
  • Queens Center in Elmhurst, New York
  • King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
  • Arrowhead Towne Center in Glendale, Arizona
  • Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara, California
  • Tysons Corner Center in Tysons Corner, Virginia

The event will last over a month, closing up shop on December 16.

nintendo switch

The Switch Has Already Sold Twice as Many Units as the Wii U

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It’s well known to industry insiders that the Wii U was a financial failure, selling about 13 million units over its relatively brief four year lifespan. It’s also known that the Switch has been a big success. Thanks to the latest financial report from Nintendo, we know exactly how much of a success.

Since its launch in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch has sold over 22 million units. That’s nearly twice as many consoles sold over the last year and half, versus four years of the Wii U.

Much of those sales figures (~17 million) are from last year. Huge games like Super Mario Odyssey and the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild helped the Switch fly off shelves. Nintendo also found success re-releasing updated versions of Wii U games, like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Mario Kart 8, introducing these games to a wider audience.

Switch software sales have grown to 42 million units, including nine games that have sold at least a million copies.

Sales have slowed greatly for the financial year of 2018, however, with the Switch only selling around five million units. The biggest first party releases were Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze and Mario Tennis Aces. Nintendo also launched the unique Nintendo Labo line of cardboard toys that work with the Switch and Joy-Con controllers.

Despite the slow start in the first half of the year, Nintendo is confident the Switch will reach 20 million units sold for the 2018 financial year (up from 17 million last year). Nintendo has saved all of its big 2018 releases for the last few months of the calendar year, notably Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Dec. 7), and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! and Let’s Go, Pikachu! (Nov. 16). Nintendo’s financial year runs through March 2019.

In related Nintendo earnings news, the eight year old 3DS has slowed down considerably, with sales dropping by 65% to a million units sold. By comparison, the NES and SNES Classic Editions sold far more copies, with combined sales of 3.69 units.

super mario party

Win a Nintendo Switch with Specially Marked Lunchables

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For the upcoming launch of Super Mario Party, Nintendo has partnered with Oscar Mayer’s Lunchables brand food packs for a promotional sweepstakes. The grand prize is an entire Nintendo Switch console. The promotion kicks off October 5 and lasts through December.

“This partnership with Lunchables is another exciting way for us to expose even more people around the country to the world of Nintendo,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo Senior VP of Sales and Marketing. “This program is a perfect opportunity to kick off the celebration of Super Mario Party by combining the game’s love for unpredictable fun with Lunchables’ love of letting kids make their own fun with their favorite foods.”

Every box of specially marked Lunchables packs will include a unique code that can be entered online. Only 500 codes will result in a winning prize. Prizes range from an entire Switch system to extra Joy-Con controllers, a carrying case, My Nintendo Points, and a copy of Super Mario Party.

Super Mario Party is launching October 5 on Switch. It features dozens of minigames in the classic board game structure, as well as new cooperative modes.

For a series first, players can also play sets of minigames online. Toad’s Rec Room is a new feature that allows two owners of Super Mario Party and their own Swithc systems to pair them up, combining the two screens for some specific minigames. Super Mario Party is rated E for Everyone.

fortnite switch

Get Extra Fortnite Goodies in New Nintendo Switch Bundle

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Nintendo has announced a new Fortnite-themed Nintendo Switch bundle. Fortnite Battle Royale is free-to-play, so the bundle includes in-game currency and some unique cosmetic items and equipment. The Fortnite Switch Bundle retails for the standard Switch price of $299. It will be available on October 3.

The bundle includes 1,000 V-Bucks (about $10 of in-game currency) and the Double Helix Set. The Double Helix Set consists of a unique character outfit, back bling, glider, and pickaxe, as shown on the box. The V-Bucks are enough to purchase one season’s Battle Pass, which cost 950 V-Bucks.

If you’re playing Fortnite regularly, you want the Battle Pass to be able to unlock new items and rewards as you play. Fortnite Battle Royale is currently in the middle of season five.

Fortnite is currently enjoying the status of being one of the most popular and well-known games on the planet. The Battle Royale mode is free-to-play, and pits 100 players in a free-for-all match for the last person standing.

Players drop onto an island and must scavenge for supplies and weapons while staying alive against an ever-shrinking zone of play. Its art style, intuitive gameplay, and the fact that it’s free has proven particularly popular with kids, teens, and young people. It also makes for an entertaining spectator sport. It’s rated T for Teen. Read our Parental Guide to Fortnite for more information.

Fortnite is primarily supported through seasonal Battle Passes. Players can purchase these to unlock a series of progressive rewards while playing. Each Battle Pass costs about $10, and seasons generally last a few months.

Fortnite launched on Switch earlier this summer. The Fortnite Switch Bundle will arrive on October 3.