News Article

Activision: New Skylanders Portal Of Power Down To "New Functionality"

Posted by Damien McFerran

Still works with the old figures, though

Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision has spoken to Family Gamer and given a few more details about Skylanders Swap Force, which is due out on Wii, Wii U and 3DS later this year.

One of the hot topics is the new Portal of Power, which is name for the USB portal that you plug into your console to access the toy characters in the game. Previous years you could re-use your old portal, but this year you need to buy a Swap Force Starter Pack with an all-new portal inside.

Because of the mix and match nature of the Swap Force characters, new portal functionality is required — hence the need to pony up some cash for a new one. Thankfully, old figures work fine on the new portal.

Skylanders Swap Force does not yet have a release date or price, at the time of writing.

Thanks to Family Gamer's Andy Robertson for contributing to this report.

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User Comments (16)

Pokefanmum82

#1

Pokefanmum82 said:

well that sucks...but thank god i know my dad is going to be the one to get this game for my son. just like he got the last two games spyro's adventure and giants for my son. god i love my dad lol

mantez

#3

mantez said:

The other question is will the new portal work with the old games?

XCWarrior

#4

XCWarrior said:

Activision, trying to sucker every dollar it can out of you with every game they make. No thanks Activision, no thanks. Almost bought the original, held off, and now that I see your scheming ways, I will pass completely until this hits the clearance bin. Which judging by the negativity toward this third game, should be this coming January.

rjejr

#5

rjejr said:

If the old portal only had to read 3 characters at a time - 2 players and an extra - and the new portal has to read 5 - top and bottom half of each player and bonus - then maybe I can see why they need a new portal, but I would think somebody would be able to solve that problem via coding in the new software.

Anyway, we won't be getting this. The kids enjoyed 1 and 2 and the wife and I are enjoying 2, but I'm still mad at Activision for the way they are handling the Giants figures. The game has been out for 6 months and was advertised with 8 Giants but I still can't find 2 of the Giants and the last 1 hasn't even been released yet. So here I am, trying to give Activision my money, but they won't sell me what's advertised. That's wrong.

SteveW

#6

SteveW said:

It really sucks that I have to use a wire now, I like the Wii wireless portal!

KAHN

#7

KAHN said:

WiiU has Near-Field Communications (NFC), so do WiiU owners need the portal?

Haxonberik

#8

Haxonberik said:

@0LD_SK0OL_PUNK Sadly this is Activision, so that means they just want to sell more portals and not even try to use the already available tecnology. In any case Im not sure of the extent of the capabilities of Wii Us NFC, it could be very problematic to try to use it.

MrWalkieTalkie

#9

MrWalkieTalkie said:

I never played Skylanders before. So in that case I guess I won't ever get Giants and just start on Swap Force... if I ever really do get it...

SteveW

#11

SteveW said:

@Haxonberik - we need a portal, if not, then you would have to place the characters and items on the gamepad controller in order to use them (that would not be fun trying to play without them falling off, lol). I'm sure the built-in NFC is only going to go a few inches at most, any more would be a huge drain on the battery life.

Drawdler

#12

Drawdler said:

Wow. What the heck are people so upset about buying the concept of a new Portal for?! It'll probably only make the game cost the same Spyro's Adventure and the Giants Starter did. I actually prefer the looks of the new Portal. It looks much nicer and sleeker to me. I'll probably purchase one from Customer Support even if I don't get the game(provided it works with Giants and Spyro's Adventure)...

By the way, everyone wondering wether the new Portal will work with the old game, just give up until the game is out unless you're willing to dig around for information for a while... Activision barely give new information to anyone but this Family Gamer guy and he doesn't often ask questions people would like the answer to(he didn't ask wether Swap Force would have Adventure Packs return- One of Swords did). They even gave him an Arbo figurine that was only produced by prototype and several variant toys for free. They don't do anything like that for anyone else.

@rjejr Well, 1. Ninjini will be out in America on the 22nd, and 2. they DO need to make stock without assistance of magical pew pew laser fairy spells. Would you rather have her and everyone else be out in very low stock or wait to have better stock of them? Because I'd most certainly prefer the latter.
In fact, this is a real issue in Australia, everyone except Big W has had low stock of everything beyond the first wave and they even lose theirs within a week or two. I am quite mad with them too, though, as the country-exclusivities they do all the time urinate me off and they never restock anything that's actually new. We haven't had any exclusives of our own, to rub salt into the wound. I won't ask my parents to buy the next game for me just because Activision treat the consumers of the franchise like dirt. Oh hi Disney Infinity

astroshamu

#13

astroshamu said:

@SteveW it'd work like the 3ds sky landers, where it reads it and stores the memory on the console temporarily and you can take the character off the portal while playing

OptometristLime

#14

OptometristLime said:

The title of this article is very difficult to interpret.

Without context it sounds like the word I would use if something was "breaking down" into a state of disrepair or neglect.

Wamtu

#15

Wamtu said:

@Nibelilt "Wow. What the heck are people so upset about buying the concept of a new Portal for?! It'll probably only make the game cost the same Spyro's Adventure and the Giants Starter did."

They only had to buy one starter at first. Giants could just be bought as an upgrade. They're upset because they don't like the strain this would put on their wallets. This stuff is already expensive WITHOUT a new portal. I wonder how far they'll push this exuberantly expensive franchise, and if they'll push it too far?

dennyiPad

#16

dennyiPad said:

Skylanders vs iPad Toys

So stick a Skylanders toy on a piece of plastic.... then go play a video game...is better than trying to move a toy through a maze on an iPad faster than your friends can, faster than your last time, the maze is changing under your toy as you move it...time is loudly ticking out... the hairy monster has appeared, a giant flash and explosion, the maze is blown apart under your toy... you lose......oh, but now lets go put a different toy on the Skylanders plastic and then go over and play a video game – how compelling.

Oh and thanks for asking “Why not use your finger?” Because the bases of the different toy figures have different shapes, so that I have to move through the thinner areas with one toy than jump across a brick wall to a maze with a different pattern than requires a different toy that I need to twist and turn to get more points-over-time. And when the maze gets hazy and drops down into the fiery maze I need to switch to a toy that won’t melt in the heat, then switch again to a toy that can kill fire monsters that are coming toward me. Then the maze gets thinner again through the underground pipes and I need to switch to the toy with the very small base that has the power to render me invisible when I press the button on top of the toy, or shoot monsters that are shooting at me which requires that I keep lifting the toy off an on the screen to redirect the toy while making sure the base still fits within the pattern on the maze, while time keeps ticking down…...oh wait a moment…….let’s get a glass of milk and a cookie, and change the Skylanders toy on the piece of plastic, the toy that requires no talent, no imagination, in fact could just be a menu choice, a click on a screen “WOW!!!”.

Oh…remember, this is a maze, which means sometimes you will be going in the wrong direction, especially if a rock slide blocks your normal path and you have to divert through a river, which again requires a different toy…so don’t get distracted…please…

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