Nintendo’s spin on Near Field Communication is NFP — the Nintendo Figurine Platform, which lets models of Mario and co interact with your Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Much like the collectible toys for the “Skylanders” and “Disney Infinity” hybrids, the Nintendo-themed figurines will contain game-related data.
Crucially, they’ll be able to work across a variety of games rather than just one predefined series, which makes sense given Nintendo’s propensity for spinning out an increasingly diverse range of Mario-themed titles. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata showed a Mario figurine as part of his preliminary presentation during a May 8 investors briefing, though a wider range is to be shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, June 10-12.
“We will announce which titles are compatible with NFP, display NFP products and disclose more specific information about NFP, which will be launched during this year-end sales season,” promised Iwata. The news ties into a leaked 2012 Ubisoft reel for Wii U title “Rayman Legends” that showed players using various NFC objects including one in the shape of a heart symbol and others modeled after characters from the Raving Rabbids” and “Assassin’s Creed” games.
NFC might have been used to great effect in “Skylanders” and “Disney Infinity,” but Nintendo’s claiming a home run due to the Wii U’s built-in NFC read/write functionality, while an add-on is being developed for the 3DS with a 2015 launch in mind.