Nintendo Figurine Platform for NFC Figures Announced

by Justin Berube - May 7, 2014, 8:26 pm PDT
Total comments: 35 Source: Nintendo

This holiday, Nintendo enters the Skylanders and Disney Infinity space.

Nintendo's long-anticipated Skylanders-like NFC platform has been revealed as NFP, which stands for both "NFC Featured Platform" and "Nintendo Figurine Platform."

Nintendo's plan is to release multiple NFC (near field communication) readable/writable figures that will contain data that can be transferred to several platforms and games. Currently, the Wii U supports this feature out of the box thanks to the GamePad's NFC reader. Nintendo also plans to release an IR-based NFC reader for the 3DS within the first half of 2015 ensuring compatibility with their current portable platform as well.

Nintendo views this new platform as a way to help leverage their IPs and hopes it becomes a core aspect of the company. Additionally, Nintendo is hoping the decorative boxes for NFP figures will help raise brand awareness from those passing by at retail locations.

Nintendo plans to launch their NFP platform by the end of 2014. More details, and supported software, for the Nintendo Figurine Platform will be revealed at E3 next month.

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Talkback

SorenMay 07, 2014

I can totally see Nintendo wasting 30 minutes of their digital event talking about this. Ugh.

Kytim89May 07, 2014

Wonderful 101 would have been perfect for something such as this. Although there is still potential for it in a possible sequel.

Tyto_AlbaMay 07, 2014

it kind of depends on the game(s) it supports, but i can see myself buying these figures.

PhilPhillip Stortzum, May 07, 2014

Quote from: Soren

I can totally see Nintendo wasting 30 minutes of their digital event talking about this. Ugh.

I'm not singling you out, as I don't know you well enough to do so, but I must say that the former hardcore Nintendo fan (again, I can't say this is you as I don't know you well enough, so don't think I'm talking about you) turned "I am going to rag and bitch and moan and be obnoxiously negative about every facet of Nintendo now" is without a doubt the most annoying group in gaming right now to me.

ElflordMay 08, 2014

Sounds kool, first thing i thought of was Pokemon. But so many possibilities!!

AdrockMay 08, 2014

Seems a bit late to be introducing this now though that's pretty much par for the course on Wii U.

I think it's a cool idea, just like Skylanders and Disney Infinity before it. Certainly, there's an audience for these collectible figures. While no games have been announced, I will probably have to sit this out if only due to the extra cost of the figures, unsurprisingly the same reason I just couldn't be bothered with Skylanders and Infinity. Additionally, these figures just seem like less convenient DLC.

ejamerMay 08, 2014

Might be late to the party, but if the games behind the figures are good then it will be entirely worthwhile.


That said, I'm very curious what the related games will look like. Pokemon was the obvious fit for NFC collectible figures. The "collect them all" tagline is perfect, as is the way individual Pokemon have unique characteristics, are leveled up over time, and are trained to have specific moves available.


Going with characters from the Mario universe is a less natural fit, and makes me wonder what kind of stats/info will be attached to the figures - especially when they are talking about using the figures across multiple games. Maybe the info contained on figures will be more generic, including stuff like your Mii and user profile and save data for various games, making the figures a sort of "gaming passport" that can be taken to your friend's house?

NeifirstMay 08, 2014

Quote from: Phil

Quote from: Soren

I can totally see Nintendo wasting 30 minutes of their digital event talking about this. Ugh.

I'm not singling you out, as I don't know you well enough to do so, but I must say that the former hardcore Nintendo fan (again, I can't say this is you as I don't know you well enough, so don't think I'm talking about you) turned "I am going to rag and bitch and moan and be obnoxiously negative about every facet of Nintendo now" is without a doubt the most annoying group in gaming right now to me.

To be fair, that annoying group in gaming you describe could be applied to several staff members appearing on NWR podcasts.  While NFC doesn't really do much for me, it sounds like a great way to expand into the toys business and I'm surprised to learn it will apply to several titles across both Wii U and 3DS.

CericMay 08, 2014

I think this will make money.  Coming after Disney Infinity and probably the 4th Skylander really hurts its potential, though.  Now if these figures allow for Sonic and Knuckle style things that be interesting.  That would provide that Nintendo developed a framework that was really easy to hook into a game.

nickmitchMay 08, 2014

I really wanna see what kind of game(s) come from this.  I don't think I can be excited until I see some game play.

BlackNMild2k1May 08, 2014

Nintendo as usual is Late To The Party (even though there were first to RSVP), but atleast they were willing to show up.

I really expected this a while ago with a Pokemon game of some sort.

Quote from: ejamer

makes me wonder what kind of stats/info will be attached to the figures - especially when they are talking about using the figures across multiple games. Maybe the info contained on figures will be more generic, including stuff like your Mii and user profile and save data for various games, making the figures a sort of "gaming passport" that can be taken to your friend's house?

I think it would also be really cool if you could purchase your Mii Figurine, and use that as a way to transfer your profile from system to system.

Ian SaneMay 08, 2014

This is a good idea from a business perspective though I'll admit I personally hope it bombs.  I just don't want Nintendo games to routinely expect me to buy figurines to access the full content of the game.  Some kid focused figurine game I don't want to play anyway?  Sure, that's fine.  But a "real" Mario or Zelda or Pokemon?  No, I want to buy the game and call it a day.  It's no different than how I want microtransactions to fail as a concept as well.  There is too much consumer acceptance of getting nickle and dimed and I don't like a few spend-happy idiots ruining the industry for everyone else.

Imagine a SSB where you unlock characters by buying figures on top of the cost of the game.  Sadly while that upsets me greatly I know some people would be excited by the prospect.

BlackNMild2k1May 08, 2014

Quote from: Ian

Imagine a SSB where you unlock characters by buying figures on top of the cost of the game.

where you unlock characters immediately by buying figures on top of the cost of the game.
as opposed to having to play to unlock those characters. Although I could see a few select hidden characters/variants that can only be unlocked by figurines.

Evan_BMay 08, 2014

I hope that Nintendo has the balls to implement NFC in a manner that isn't as ridiculous as the pricing model for Skylanders. if you're going to have a game that revolves around NFC, reduce the price so that it feels cheaper initially, but becomes substantial for enthusiasts and collectors.

What Nintendo does have is the ability to make these figures have functionality across franchises rather than just one- and that's what I'm hoping they'll try to promote. Make my Pokemon Rumble figures have a purpose in the mainline Pokemon games, or give them a weird function in a new Zelda title.

Fireninjastar26May 08, 2014

It's like fancy DLC for multiple games. :D

Pixelated PixiesMay 08, 2014

Nintendo's getting involved in this 'Toys-to-Life' genre too? Go figure.

sorry


CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterMay 08, 2014

Oh no... I'm such a sucker for well made figures. I got a kid now! Aint no body got time for that!

StogiMay 08, 2014

Ian, isn't SSB literally about a child playing with toys? I know it's evolved since, but what a perfect way to bring back the innocence of a sweet little game and charge 10$ a pop.

Ian SaneMay 08, 2014

Quote from: Stogi

Ian, isn't SSB literally about a child playing with toys? I know it's evolved since, but what a perfect way to bring back the innocence of a sweet little game and charge 10$ a pop.

What do you work for Nintendo?  Why would you want this?  I get why Nintendo would but why would you want to pay twice what you used to pay for SSB for no reason other than Nintendo wanting to make you buy extra stuff?

GriffinclawMay 08, 2014

Damnit... well, regardless if I actually play any games involved with these figures, I'm still going to buy a Samus figure if I see it, lol. Should go nicely with my phazon suit Sideshow statue, zero suit figure, and Other M figma.

AdrockMay 08, 2014

Quote from: Ian

What do you work for Nintendo?  Why would you want this?  I get why Nintendo would but why would you want to pay twice what you used to pay for SSB for no reason other than Nintendo wanting to make you buy extra stuff?

I don't want to speak for Stogi, but I believe there's value in the figures themselves. Some people like collecting stuff. Depending on price, I'd consider buying Samus, Link, and/or Daisy figures just to have. I can't see myself collecting all the figures for a game ($10 a figure can kindly get the fuck out of my face), but I might buy one on sale if I thought the figure looked cool.

Ian SaneMay 08, 2014

Quote from: Adrock

Quote from: Ian

What do you work for Nintendo?  Why would you want this?  I get why Nintendo would but why would you want to pay twice what you used to pay for SSB for no reason other than Nintendo wanting to make you buy extra stuff?

I don't want to speak for Stogi, but I believe there's value in the figures themselves. Some people like collecting stuff. Depending on price, I'd consider buying Samus, Link, and/or Daisy figures just to have. I can't see myself collecting all the figures for a game ($10 a figure can kindly get the **** out of my face), but I might buy one on sale if I thought the figure looked cool.

Yeah, the figures have some real value.  I wouldn't dislike owning some Nintendo figures but I don't want to HAVE to to access videogame content.  It annoys me in the same way DLC does but this is worse because it's less direct.  At least with DLC if I want it I go the eShop and buy it.  Here I might have to hunt all over town for some figure that's sold out everywhere.  Ugh.

I say let figures be figures and video games be video games and you buy what interests you.  But making one unrelated item a glorified mandatory purchase for the other is pretty lame.  I really hope they don't misuse the concept in that way.  Nintendo hasn't even revealed that they will but the potential for abuse here is really high so I'm concerned.

I have bought one set of these micro-scams, er, fgures since the whole thing began and that was as a Christmas gift for my nephew. (My sister-in-law still hasn't forgiven me.)

I don't see this changing for me.

However, if the rewards for investment are also available through the course of normal play, then I won't be as upset.

When I read this news I immediately thought of Smash Bros, because all the trophies in Melee were like the same kind of thing and collecting the digital trophies was my favorite part of that game. I don't know if this will sell me on the system but Nintendo found away to get some of my money this year.

ejamerMay 08, 2014

Anyone getting worked up is jumping the gun.


All we know is that there will be figures, and they will have the potential to interact with multiple games. We don't know what type of games will be involved, what the pricing or distribution of figures will be like, how figures will interact with games, or what costs will be. Without more information it's kind of pointless to make any serious comments.


That said, I'm more worried about how hard it will be to find/buy figures without resorting to second-hand scalpers than about what the games are like. Hopefully NoA does a better job supporting this idea than they did with other game-related items like Kid Icarus AR cards or Animal Crossing trading cards.  (Should be different due to profit potential... but NoA hasn't earned much confidence from me in how they handle product releases lately.)

I wouldn't say I am hyped or excited for this but if done right it could be cool. Games or no games I would be into collecting the figures.

nickmitchMay 09, 2014

I'm thinking they could add characters to Mario Kart this way.  That wouldn't impact the game terribly, but could still be fun for collectors, especially if they could have effects in other games.

Evan_BMay 09, 2014

The reason the Skylanders/Infinity model is so annoying is because the figures are restricted to a certain title and they don't feel like an investment with the new figures that appear on the market. In its first two years, Skylanders played it extremely safe with the first wave and "giants" but the new gimmicks of the figures set them apart drastically and require new ports to operate. Of course, the sad thing is the Skylanders and Infinity model is the cheapest and most profitable NFC plan.

In a perfect world, NFC figures are optional investments that pay off overtime. Make every game have a neat NFC tidbit that, when you look at your whole library, you feel justified in buying that figure because it wasn't just for one game.

pokepal148May 09, 2014

At the same time I don't want to be missing out on content because I don't want my house cluttered with a @#$!*& plastic doll collection.

StogiMay 09, 2014

Quote from: Ian

Quote from: Stogi

Ian, isn't SSB literally about a child playing with toys? I know it's evolved since, but what a perfect way to bring back the innocence of a sweet little game and charge 10$ a pop.

What do you work for Nintendo?  Why would you want this?  I get why Nintendo would but why would you want to pay twice what you used to pay for SSB for no reason other than Nintendo wanting to make you buy extra stuff?

After looking at my post, I realized that my sarcasm was well hidden.

I guess what I meant to say was let Nintendo lube up and rape the wallets of fans everywhere. Did I say rape? I meant let the fans not only consent to but pay for their harddicking. All the while, I'm the one with devalued Nintendo stock and a half stiffy.

Clear enough for ya?

pokepal148May 09, 2014

I should add, the skylanders/infinity model is basically on disc DLC. Just no.

Pixelated PixiesMay 10, 2014

Quote from: pokepal148

At the same time I don't want to be missing out on content because I don't want my house cluttered with a @#$!*& plastic doll collection.

That's an interesting point. I've never really thought about it because, honestly, none of these 'toy-to-life' games have interested me in the least, but locking content behind physical items will no doubt be a deterrent to some people who might otherwise have enjoyed the game content. I don't really have the space for tens of plastic figurines in my apartment, and I'd also feel more than little embarrassed by their presence. At the age of 26 I'm just about comfortable explaining to friends and family why I still enjoy playing video games, I don't really have the inclination to explain why that appreciation now extends to collecting little plastic figures.

I guess what I'm happy for my appreciation for Nintendo to be kept between me and my 3DS, and not put on display for the whole world to gawk at.

Infinitys_EndMay 11, 2014

Cue SSB tie-in in 3...2...

Mop it upMay 12, 2014

I don't like the sound of this one bit.

nickmitchMay 12, 2014

Quote from: Pixelated

Quote from: pokepal148

At the same time I don't want to be missing out on content because I don't want my house cluttered with a @#$!*& plastic doll collection.

That's an interesting point. I've never really thought about it because, honestly, none of these 'toy-to-life' games have interested me in the least, but locking content behind physical items will no doubt be a deterrent to some people who might otherwise have enjoyed the game content. I don't really have the space for tens of plastic figurines in my apartment, and I'd also feel more than little embarrassed by their presence. At the age of 26 I'm just about comfortable explaining to friends and family why I still enjoy playing video games, I don't really have the inclination to explain why that appreciation now extends to collecting little plastic figures.

I guess what I'm happy for my appreciation for Nintendo to be kept between me and my 3DS, and not put on display for the whole world to gawk at.

That's a great point.  A lot of people would probably be willing to pay for the content, but not the figurines.  I wonder if Nintendo would consider doing it both ways.  Maybe have the effect be $2.00 in the game, but if you buy the $5 figure, you get the content across maybe 3 games, so the figure almost saves you money.

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