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 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.