Jason Coston, research manager at Interpret, says that even before Nintendo revealed Amiibo figures at last month’s E3 event they were among the most desired smart toys in the US, Europe and Brazil. The study produced by Interpret says that there are over 72 million children interested in smart toys around the world. The Amiibo figures will be introduced by Nintendo later this year.
“We tested interest in an extensive list of current and potential smart toy brands and even prior to the Amiibo announcement, smart toys based on Nintendo characters were among the most desired smart toys in the US, Europe and Brazil,” added Jason Coston, research manager at Interpret.
UK online video game retailer ShopTo has started taking pre-orders for Amiibo figures and has them listed at £12.85 each. Estimates were at the £6-£12 mark, but of course this is subject to change. ShopTo currently have these figures available for pre-order: Link, Kirby, Mario, Zelda, Peach, Pikachu, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Samus Aran, Animal Crossing Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, Pit, (Kid Icarus), Marth (Fire Emblem) and Fox McCloud. The figures will be used for a range of titles, including Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart 8.
Nintendo characters come to life in new ways as amiibo – interactive figures that have the ability to communicate with multiple specially designed games by just touching them to the Wii U GamePad controller. Nintendo plans to release first series of amiibo this year alongside Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
• amiibo can interact with compatible games when players touch them to the Wii U GamePad controller, reading character data into games and saving data to the figure.
• Different compatible games will use amiibo in different ways. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be the first game to use amiibo. Games like Mario Kart 8, Mario Party 10, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Yoshi’s Woolly World are also planned to support amiibo.
• In Super Smash Bros., players can battle alongside or against their amiibo characters, leveling them up in the process. They can then bring them to a friend who has a Wii U and the game to show off how they’ve trained and customized their characters.
• A new NFC reader/writer, which is being designed for Nintendo 3DS, is scheduled to launch in 2015.
You may remember that Nintendo of France managing director Stephan Bole recently told French publication Le Figaro that Super Smash Bros for Wii U will feature NFC functionality. Well, CVG reached out to Nintendo UK to see whether this was indeed true. Nintendo UK said that while Satoru Iwata said that Nintendo would release character figurines with built-in NFC functionality for certain titles, Super Smash Bros has yet to be confirmed as one of them. So no doubt we will get the official announcement at E3 next month.
“On 8th May 2014, Mr Iwata announced the decision for Nintendo to release character figurines with built-in NFC functionality that are compatible with video games starting from this year-end sales season. There has, however, not been any specific announcements regarding which software titles for Nintendo platforms will use this functionality. We have no other announcements to make at this time.”
Thanks, N Dub Nation
French news publication Le Figaro is reporting that Super Smash Bros on the Wii U will utilise Near Field Communication. The information was revealed by Stephan Bole, director general at Nintendo France. Details regarding how the game uses the technology have yet to be announced, but it sounds as though there may be Smash Bros NFC toys on the horizon.
“E3 is also an opportunity to show the use of NFC technology [used in Skylanders and Disney Infinity, allowing the use of real objects - here, figurines - in video games] in Nintendo consoles . The NFC will be used in the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros.”
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Nintendo showcased a Mario NFC figurine during its investor’s meeting today. The company is making character figurines that are code-named Nintendo Figurine Platform (NFP), which contain built-in NFC functionality and will be compatible with both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, which is getting its own NFC reader/writer that will launch next year.
“To establish new and growing areas through the active utilization of character IP, it is important for Nintendo to take risks ourselves and come up with interesting ways to use our character IP,” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. “In other words, other than using character IP in Nintendo’s video game software, we need to start a new business that will someday become one of our core activities.
“We have decided to release character figurines with built-in NFC functionality that are compatible with video games starting from this year-end sales season. We are calling the figurines by their development codename, NFP, which comes from “NFC Featured Platform” and “Nintendo Figurine Platform.
“Nintendo has been developing an NFC reader/writer for the Nintendo 3DS family, as you can see on this slide, and we are planning to launch it in the first half of the next calendar year. This will make Nintendo 3DS compatible with the NFC reader/writer via infrared communication, and as a result, you will be able to read and write NFC data with the Nintendo 3DS device in the palm of your hand.
“That is to say, NFP is going to be compatible with Wii U software from this year-end, and compatible with both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS software from next year.”
Nintendo of Japan is preparing to let consumers use their Wii U console to make electronic payments via the consoles near field communication functionality. The ability to use your Wii U GamePad to make electronic transactions using the NFC reader would allow Wii U owners to make purchases with touch based payment cards, such as Suica. Japanese consumers use NFC Cards to make payments at their local store or to pay for their train faire.
Nintendo has released a trailer of Pokémon Rumble U in the Japanese Nintendo eShop for Wii U. In the game, up to 100 Pokémon and four players can simultaneously appear on the same TV screen. When it releases in Japan next week, on April 24th, Pokémon Rumble U will be the first Wii U game to use the Wii U GamePad’s NFC feature. Nintendo has yet to announce international release dates for the game.
The latest issue of CoroCoro Comic reveals that the first Wii U game to use NFC is Pokémon Rumble U, which launches in Japan next month, on April 24th. On the same day the game is out, consumers in Japan can purchase Pokémon figures from Pokémon Center stores that appear in Pokémon Rumble U via the Wii U GamePad’s NFC feature. The Pokémon figures resemble their toy counterparts in the Pokémon Rumble series, and they will cost 200 Yen each, which is roughly $2.
Legendary games designer Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that the company is set to reveal its NFC plans in the near future. Miyamoto believes that near field communication functionality is something that every Wii U owner can take advantage off, so that’s where they are putting their priorities right now. Here’s what Miyamoto had to say on the subject:
“With NFC, that’s a feature that everyone that owns a Wii U can take advantage of. So that’s what we’re putting our priorities right now. We’re hoping that in the near future we’ll be able to show you something that will take advantage of the NFC on Wii U and people will be able to enjoy that.”