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