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Nintendo reveals Skylanders-style action figures

Nintendo reveals Skylanders-style action figures

The figurines will work across several titles as opposed to having their own dedicated games.

Nintendo plans to release a range of near field communication (NFC) capable figurines that will interact with games on the Wii U and 3DS.

The Nintendo Figurine Platform was announced by company president Satoru Iwata during Nintendo’s financial results briefing and is intended for release later this year.

As opposed to its Skylanders and Disney Infinity cousins, the Nintendo NFC figures will not have their own dedicated games, but instead will read and write game data across several existing titles, allowing players to level up and develop their Nintendo characters.

’Nintendo has a lot of well-known character IP that has originated in video games, and we have been regularly releasing titles from game franchises that make use of this character IP,’ said Iwata. ’This is why I believe a brand-new type of platform will be born when the character IP becomes compatible with NFP.’

The Nintnendo Figurine Platform will first be rolled out for the Wii U by the end of this year with 3DS compatibility through the use of an infrared reader will be launched in the first half of 2015. Further details are expected to be on display during June’s E3 conference.

Nintendo’s financial results revealed that the company has posted an operating loss of $456m and that driving Wii U sales is the company’s primary focus. It intends to do this through better promotion of the console’s GamePad system and creating titles that take better advantage of this.

The Nintendo Figurine Platform has almost definitely drawn inspiration from Activision’s hugely successful Skylanders series which has become one of the publishers three major earners alongside World of Warcraft and the Call of Duty franchise.

Disney Interactive has also found success with Disney Infinity which follows a similar pattern of collectible figurines interacting with a game world. According to an earnings report from Disney, the game developer saw a 38% increase in revenue during the second quarter of 2014 attributed to the title.

13 Comments

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Guinevere 8th May 2014, 11:50 Quote
Yep, that'll stop people buying PS4s and XBones and grab a Wii U instead. For sures.
rollo 8th May 2014, 12:23 Quote
They could of had sole control off skylanders IP at one point is the rumour that was going around. Nintendo are in big trouble wii u sales were bad software sales in Europe are worse 55k sold is what is ment to be the figure.
blacko 8th May 2014, 13:25 Quote
This move smells of desperation. I give them another year before they call it a day with the hardware side of the business.
Maki role 8th May 2014, 16:20 Quote
Personally I feel this is a good move. Why? Because hopefully it pushes Nintendo another step forward to removing themselves from the hardware equation (unfortunately through failure). I love so many of their IPs, but they're languishing under Nintendo's first party grip. I would love to play another F-Zero game (which they said they wouldn't make as they can't figure out what to do with it, how awful), not to mention all their other games are living in the shadows of former releases. Skyward sword was IMO a really poor game, for the record I do own it and have played through a lot of it. Super Smash Bros Brawl was also awful when compared to Melee, they stripped the competitive aspect out of it, which made it really boring. Heck I only play it with friends occasionally on local MP, but we became decent enough to have to ban many characters as they were too hard to deal with (*cough* Meta Knight) thus giving that player a huge advantage. The list goes on sadly.

I would love for a bold gamble to be made on some of these franchises. F-Zero is perfectly suited for the current gaming environment, just follow the Redline philosophy of silly courses, over the top characters, intense speed/danger and pumping beats in the background. What a game that would be.
Xploitedtitan 8th May 2014, 21:23 Quote
I wouldn't talk bout bald gamble.
It's too late for that.

From what I read, the creator from Skylander first approached Nintendo to port his idea.
And they didn't dare doing that step forward.
Now they got burned asses due several consecutive bad decisions, and now they try to grapple at any rope they can land their hands on.

It will require alot more effort to reverse the current tide.

Let's see if they can survive this crisis.
Porkins' Wingman 8th May 2014, 21:55 Quote
Disclosure: I own a Wii U, Wii and Gamecube. But I consider myself capable of at least some objectivity on this subject.

Firstly:

http://vgchartz.com/embeds/worldwide_totals.png?a=223

Assuming these figures are reasonably reliable, Nintendo has 34% market share of sold latest-gen consoles. Combine with handhelds and Nintendo has 70% of the total market share (of the main players).

I don't know anything about the industry but I'd be surprised if that constitutes a hardware crisis.

Sony set a new sales record with the PS4. Clearly the Wii U didn't, but the figures aren't so far off that one should conclude the Wii U as a 'failure'. If it had only sold 600,000 units then things would be different, but the Wii U still has 33% greater sales than Xbox1. How much are Sony and Microsoft in profit with their consoles?

Call me a nutjob, but there's a slight whiff of conspiracy about the way the media has repeatedly pushed negative Wii U stories.

Nintendo sold 100million Wiis. That means there's a hell of a lot of wiimotes, nunchucks, and Wii software out there that are still compatible with the Wii U. Wii software is still outselling Wii U software. I'd say there's a good chance of a slow burn of owners continuing to gradually transition to the Wii U, provided Nintendo keep the quality software coming (which they haven't done themselves many favours with since launch, admittedly, but there's many great games available and more to come).

These figurines, how expensive a risk can it be? Wii U is already NFP compatible, their IPs are industry leading, and competing ventures have sold well. This doesn't smack of desperation, it makes sense.

The quickness with which some scoff just seems to demonstrate the anti-Wii U propaganda has had an effect.

Mario Kart Wii is the third highest selling game of all time (according to vgchartz). The next one's out in a few weeks - it will be interesting to see how many of the 34million buyers of the previous version fancy the new installment.
Sloth 8th May 2014, 22:38 Quote
Cool, more junk to buy when owning a Nintendo console. As if there weren't enough peripherals already.
Guinevere 9th May 2014, 01:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porkins' Wingman
Assuming these figures are reasonably reliable, Nintendo has 34% market share of sold latest-gen consoles. Combine with handhelds and Nintendo has 70% of the total market share (of the main players).

Nintendo does not have a major share of the handheld gaming market in either hardware, title sales or income. Well maybe they still do in Japan as Japan is a bubble to itself.

Looking to the future iOS + Android are really the only significant players in the game (Maybe MS will join in too one day). Nintendo and Sony will carry on for a while with their current hardware but I think both of them will have a hard time moving to a newer generation.
blacko 9th May 2014, 10:22 Quote
Pokemon iOS will be awesome. Roll on Nintendo's eventual failure.
Gareth Halfacree 9th May 2014, 10:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porkins' Wingman
http://vgchartz.com/embeds/worldwide_totals.png?a=223
An interesting chart, but one thing is missing: launch dates. The Wii U launched in November 2012; the Xbox One and PS4 both launched in November 2014. So, the Wii U has been selling for 29 months as of the end of April; the Xbox 360 and the PS4 have been selling for five months as of the end of April. On a per-month basis, that gives the Wii U 210,000 sales per month, the Xbox One 900,000 sales per month, and the PS4 1.5 million sales per month. That makes a graph of a distinctly different shape, and one that suggests that yes: Nintendo is indeed in trouble.

(Also: who the hell decided that a bar representing 7.5M should sit next to a bar representing 44.4 million and be the same height?)

Disclaimer: I own a Nintendo PlayChoice-10 arcade cabinet, N64, Game Boy Micro, GBA, GameCube, DS Lite (actually, two), 3DS and Wii. I don't own a Wii U - although I don't own an Xbox One or a PS4 either.
Porkins' Wingman 9th May 2014, 13:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
An interesting chart, but one thing is missing: launch dates. The Wii U launched in November 2012; the Xbox One and PS4 both launched in November 2014. So, the Wii U has been selling for 29 months as of the end of April; the Xbox 360 and the PS4 have been selling for five months as of the end of April. On a per-month basis, that gives the Wii U 210,000 sales per month, the Xbox One 900,000 sales per month, and the PS4 1.5 million sales per month. That makes a graph of a distinctly different shape, and one that suggests that yes: Nintendo is indeed in trouble.

Not quite as bad as you make out - the Wii U launched in Nov. 2012, so has only been on sale 17 months.

To some degree the launch date is irrelevant. Console sales aren't generally where the profit is, so presumably software sales are more important. Currently the Wii U has 6 million prospective software buyers, Xbox One only has 4 million. Clearly the trend suggests Xbox One will overtake Wii U at some point, but Microsoft sold 3 million by the end of 2013 then the figures suggest the sales so far for 2014 are much closer to Wii U sales (I don't have access to month-by month sales data right now to check this tho).

But the Wii U offers consumers more reasons to upgrade from the previous console from the same manufacturer than PS4 and XB1. So I think there will be a steady flow of Wii upgraders. PS and XB owners, not so much.

Anyway, I'm not in the habit of scrutinising sales figures, but I just think the sup-par Wii U performance has been overemphasised in the media. Rumour has it Sony and Microsoft don't have a great recent history of profiting directly from their console divisions, so the way the Wii U is repeatedly kicked just seems a little biased to me.

By all means kick the Wii, it was overly gimmicky, suffered due to ignoring the high-def trend, and was flooded with trash software. But the Wii U is much better off. The biggest criticism of it seems to be the gamepad, which I find ironic because to me it is one of its greatest strengths. The benefits of off-tv play can't be appreciated until you've lived with it. I tried out my brother's XB1 and had no remorse about opting for the Wii U.
Gareth Halfacree 9th May 2014, 13:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porkins' Wingman
Not quite as bad as you make out - the Wii U launched in Nov. 2012, so has only been on sale 17 months.
…Yeah, apparently I spent this morning thinking it was 2015. Huh.

Still not great results, mind, to be outsold by one rival and nearly matched by the other in a third the time.
Blademrk 9th May 2014, 17:57 Quote
I think the biggest problem(s) with the current gen (Wii U /X One / PS4) are:

1) the lack of games; (The Wii U actually has more games that appeal to me at this point, but that's still only a few games)

2) and the number of multi-player (and to some extent single player) games that are cross gen without being compatible (e.g. Titanfall / Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare / Halo Spartan Ops).

So that means you've either got to buy the game twice in order to play with friends that don't have an X-Box One or ignore one of the versions (and let's face it, the majority will stick to the system that most of their friends play on which doesn't exactly push players on to the new system). Microsoft missed a trick by not trying to get the PvZ / Titanfall / Spartan Ops developers to get the multi-player to play nice across the 360/One divide so that if you do happen to get the new system you're not leaving your friends behind.

(obligatory disclaimer: I currently have a Game Cube, N64, DS, 3DS, 3DS XL, Wii U, XBox, X-B 360, X-B One, PS2 and a PS3 sitting under my TV and will get a PS4 at some point (especially as I seem to have more PS4 games than XB One games at this point thanks to PS+))
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