Nintendo launching NFC character figurines this year
posted on 05.07.14 at 11:24 PM EDT by (@salromano)
Full details at E3. Plus, Mario Kart TV app on the way.


Nintendo has announced plans to release character figurines with built-in Near Field Communication functionality that are compatible with Wii U and 3DS games.

Planned for launch from this year-end sales season, the figures are code-named NFP, for both “NFC Featured Platform” and “Nintendo Figurine Platform.”

The figures are designed to be compatible with multiple games for Nintendo platforms. Nintendo is aiming to develop more software titles with NFP compatibility.

“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,” Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said. “This is why I believe a brand-new type of platform will be born when the character IP becomes compatible with NFP.”


NFP figurines can be both read and written to, so it can tell what character figurine is in use, and a compact amount of data unique to each game can be written into it and read from it.

“You will be able to customize your NFP to raise or train your own Nintendo characters, for example,” Iwata said.

At launch, NFP will only be compatible with Wii U. However, a wireless 3DS NFP reader/writer is in development for launch in the first half of of the next calendar year.

Nintendo will announce NFP compatible titles at E3 in Los Angeles next month, as well as showcase NFP produces and disclose more specific information about the figurines.

Outside of NFP, which Nintendo detailed during its latest financial results briefing, Nintendo also revealed its first smartphone app, Mario Kart TV.

Mario Kart TV App

Mario Kart TV is a web service that will let users watch shared videos and view rankings from Mario Kart 8 by logging in with their Nintendo Network ID.

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  • Karysonson

    “first halof of the next calendar year.r”
    Just a heads up

    • Sal Romano

      Thanks, mate! =)

      • Karysonson

        No problem

  • Anime10121

    So…I’m guessing THIS is why Smash Bros aint releasing til winter :/

    • Auragar

      Could be, at least one reason.

    • OverlordZetta

      … Uh, I don’t think this has anything to do with it.

      Smash 4/3DS is releasing in the summer, whereas Smash 5/Wii-U is coming in the winter. The 3DS one is probably going to be done first and they might take initial reactions from 4 to make the “real” game in Smash 5 that much better in the limited time they have after release.

      I wouldn’t worry about it.

      • Anime10121

        The 3DS doesnt communicate with NFC though. Its probably some special feature of the Wii U version that they want to capitalize on.

        • OverlordZetta

          I doubt it – and the 3DS is getting an addon for that, so that shouldn’t stop them.

          This kind of thing will just not work if you use it as figure based DLC. I’m guessing they’re just going to be doing Skylanders but with Nintendo characters.

  • 武神水樹

    This probably won’t be under $100

  • SuperLuigi

    If this ends up like skylanders and it doesn’t suck I’m gonna be broke…

  • Auragar

    Hmm… well then. So Nintendo does have new hardware. Interested more in Nintendo’s E3 now. Probably going to be the best this year despite being digital only and no stage show.

    • OverlordZetta

      Wait, what? What I’m reading is that they’re using a feature of the gamepad and giving the 3DS an addon to replicate the effect.

      • Auragar

        Which the toys and the addon are hardware.

        • OverlordZetta

          Fair enough.

  • RmanX1000

    Super Skylander Bros?

  • Vayne

    I’ll keep an eye on these IP.

  • Budgiecat


    a new hardware gimmick…..that’s not so new….

    • Dick Mountainjoy

      After Pokelanders failed they gotta do something with it…

      • Auragar

        That’s mainly because that series is garbage in the first place. If it were a mainline Pokemon game it would’ve sold like hotcakes.

      • OverlordZetta

        Pokelanders failed because they didn’t really try. Bad game, ugly figures, and a lot of the content could be unlocked ingame or through passwords, defeating the point of the figures.

  • Solomon_Kano

    I wonder what sort of game they’ll put this to use with.

    • Auragar

      Any and all. Anime’s suggestion sounds likely.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Smash would certainly make sense.

  • Dick Mountainjoy

    So It’s like PS4/X1 share… for one game…


    • Auragar

      Not sure what you are talking about. And the characters will work on multiple games.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Mario Kart TV

        • Auragar

          Ah. I didn’t know that X1 had a sharing feature.

  • OverlordZetta

    I’m hopeful for the figure thing – I doubt they’re going to have it interfere with existing games (it would be crazy to think they’ll do that to their existing franchises), but they might have it apply to a bunch of NEW games of different genres, which would be pretty cool once the selection gets big enough.

  • Dick Mountainjoy

    So someone does something similar to Nintendo people lose their shit, but Nintendo shamelessly rips off skylanders and no one bats an eyelash?

    • OverlordZetta

      Any reason they should?

      Plus they already did this with Pokemon once anyway.

      • Dick Mountainjoy

        So we agree Nintendo fanboys are huge hypocrites.

        • Marco Tinè

          It’s a good idea, it works and there’s probably an audience for this among Nintendo fans, so… why not try? They need it, and I’d like to them get back in shape any way thay can.

          • OverlordZetta

            That’s the spirit!

        • Elvick

          All fanboys are hypocrites though.

        • Jason

          Sadly people in general are hypocrites. But I think more to the point is people post negative things much more often than positive. So they pretty much just bash anything.

          • Dick Mountainjoy

            Sure, but Nintendo fans are always the first and loudest to point out when they are copied, way more so than the other way around.

            Just look at Playstation Allstars, It was nothing special, but it was far from bad, but they shit on it super hard almost nonstop, first for being too much like smash, but then for being not enough like it.

            But when the terrible Pokelanders comes out they basically sweep it under the rug, and now that they are taking ANOTHER crack at Skylanders copy they think it will be great. And you never really hear Skylanders fans bitch about it.

            • Jason

              Trust me I understand what you’re saying, but I have been in plenty of forums that say the same things about Sony fans or X-box fans. Nintendo fans aren’t special or unique. And if they like something cool, good for them. Were on this planet far too short of time to keep pointing out the flaws in everything. If people stopped dogging everyone else two things would happen. Posts would go down by at least 75 percent and everyone would be happier :-)

      • Budgiecat

        the very reason they shouldn’t.

        Just as they shouldn’t have made any noise in the first place when people copied them; because then yeah they be hypocrites

    • Zackasaur

      Welcome to gaming. This is sadly our status quo.

  • Roger

    Very cool and SSB trophy-ish. Will probably cost kidneys,though.

  • AdamBoy64

    Eh, why not.
    Look forward to seeing how it turns out.

  • Elvick

    Not for me.

  • penemue

    I feel basically the same as everyone else here.

    People just want Nintendo to make new games, and these aren’t games, they are toys, figurines really, which we already have, that have DLC tied to them it seems? What’s more, the hybrid has already been done TWICE before, so I can’t blame people for calling Nintendo out on it, (even though I think we should just let it be so as not to be as bad as those we are talking about.)
    Sadly, it seems like something no one asked for and is only being introduced to make shareholders happy as it serves as a possible new revenue stream.
    Oh well as Elvick said, not for me, I didn’t care for Skylanders or Infinity and it certainly won’t change for Nintendo.

    • OverlordZetta

      While I do agree that they should be making more games, this IS a type of game. I don’t think they’ll be tying DLC to existing games into toys – that’s bound to fail. I think they’re going to try to do something similar to Skylanders, where everything is in the toys in the first place.

      • rurifan

        A type of consumer exploitation pretending to be a game.

  • Willgaea

    This will only work for me if it follows my rules.

    1. If I buy a “Link” trophy he better be playable in Mario kart 8

    2. # 1 applies for any character trophy for any game.

    3. Trophies can be played with any compatible games.

    Basically I want every Nintendo game to be super smash bros.

    • Auragar

      lol Link is MK8 would be awesome.

  • ConkerBFD

    I think it’d be better if it was like Disney Infinity. A game with a world shared by all Nintendo characters. “Buy the figurine and unlock new gameplay, stages and characters”, I can give my money to that.

  • Zero

    I can’t believe it took Nintendo this long to officially jump on this train.