News Article

Talking Point: NFC And The GamePad Can Succeed If Nintendo Gives Players Control

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Lessons to be learned from successes such as Minecraft and Disney Infinity

This year is vitally important for Nintendo, just like 2013 and 2012, admittedly. 2013 was a strange year in that notable successes and triumphs were overshadowed by missed targets and Nintendo's own disappointment. It was a year of contradictions — 3DS was the top-selling system in multiple major territories, yet fell below the company's projections, while the Wii U hosted some exceptional gaming experiences while failing to capture the public's imagination. Success and failure went through the year hand in hand, swapping places frequently just to confuse us all.

The final picture was clear, though, and that was one of Nintendo struggling and reacting as it often does, with more ideas to shake up the market and grab attention. The 3DS will be business as usual, the core profit driver, while during 2014 Nintendo will lift the lid on its Quality of Life platform, stepping into a health market that seems to be on the rise: see the Samsung S5's features as an example. So the Wii U steps to centre stage again, seeking the spotlight and a return to strong sales only truly seen in its launch month and, to a lesser degree, briefly over the 2013 Holiday period.

Games will be vital, of course. 2013 brought some fantastic games, but even the sublime Super Mario 3D World couldn't bring the sort of viral retail buzz that Nintendo craved. Attention will shift to Mario Kart 8, following the ludicrously successful Wii entry and no doubt hoping to attract the gaze of those that flocked to stores to grab that chunky box with racing goodness and a Wii Wheel inside. Super Smash Bros. is another, which will also be important for the 3DS, as it's a franchise that also shifts notable numbers and, perhaps most vitally, can tap into the psyche and yearnings of gamers that may typically swerve more to the Sony and Microsoft end of the market. Prominent YouTube channels that often focus on FPS games and GTA can be seen citing the new Smash as an anticipated game, for example.

Those games, and various others, will be significant, but Nintendo's drive to push the Wii U as something different and unique will likely move to other ground. In his January investor's presentation Satoru Iwata made clear that the GamePad and NFC (near field communication) functionality would be important parts of Nintendo's messaging, and we were told to expect more at E3. The LA extravaganza is important not so much for preaching to the converted, but by the press inches it wins, so it's faintly surprising that NFC will be considered important. It's been largely ignored to date, tentatively utilised in Pokémon Rumble U; that game, while decent, failed to do anything particularly interesting with the technology or its GamePad interface. For either feature to truly matter at E3 Nintendo may need to go against its better instincts and give players more control over their in-game destinies.

There are clear trends showing that the family and young gamer market that Nintendo continues to target is developing a taste for games that gradually remove typical boundaries. Two of the largest selling games in the U.S. last year were Minecraft as a retail release on the Xbox 360 (it's a phenomenon in the download space, of course), and newcomer in the collectible toy / NFC scene Disney Infinity. The success of the former can be attributed to multiple factors, of course, but it's the inherent freedom and customisation that many highlight as its golden idea; it's an experience as accessible and deep as gamers of any age want it to be. Minecraft is sometimes seen in classrooms, a tool to help those that normally have difficulty expressing themselves, and in the right hands can focus on teamwork and creativity rather than aggressive individual play. Teamwork and creativity are, in some ways, calling cards of Nintendo software.

As for Disney Infinity, while it hasn't comprehensively seen off the Activision behemoth of Skylanders it's certainly competing rather well. As Activision's series has followed fairly linear level design with additional areas and new swappable toy combinations, Infinity's Toy Box mode has allowed gamers to utilise the tools available — admittedly enhanced by those 'purchased' through relevant figurines and items — to create their own worlds and challenges. Players can spend time building an enormous tower, creating elaborate race tracks or far more; on the Wii U it was easier with the GamePad, using the touch screen to make the process that little bit more intuitive.

These are the kind of ideas we're likely to see more in the coming years, as consumers become increasingly accustomed to calling the shots in how they spend their time. With more people being heavy internet users and owning more devices, there are examples and products where gamers increasingly want to run free and do as they please; it's not just with games targeting young audiences, as GTA Online and the often-encouraged and vibrant PC modding scene demonstrates.

While Pokémon Rumble U was a necessary first step and seemed to be relatively popular — a local retailer we asked said the NFC toys had sold well — it was also cautious and unambitious. It was pleasing that toys could be levelled up, in game, and used in any copy of the game with advantages not included with the virtual toys collected via the software. While neat and capturing the "collect 'em all" mentality these toys can promote, it was far from integral to the game — perhaps understandable as an early experiment for Nintendo, but in truth that's all it was.

But now NFC will apparently be a focus, and it's easy to see why. Both Disney and Activision are not only making a lot of money through NFC figurines but are gaining something else that's also significant — mind share. Kids know all about the Disney and Skylanders characters; shelves in supermarkets, game stores and toy stores continue to groan under the weight of the various toys on offer. With Nintendo acknowledging that it has to do more in licensing, partnerships and brand awareness, too, toys linked to games serve a valuable dual purpose.

The ambition shouldn't just be retail space, but in the software that accompanies them. Nintendo, as masters of the game design craft, instinctively gives us courses to run that are impeccably structured — it's the traditional design philosophy. Yet the examples outlined above show that it's chaos that some desire. A world doesn't have to be perfect if it's one you created yourself, it just has to be yours. As a company that seeks to control every aspect of our gaming experiences — often as a positive to help us have as much fun as possible — this kind of concession would be bold for Nintendo.

With NFC the potential for a Nintendo 'World', in which characters from various IPs do as they please in user-generated levels, is hugely exciting. With the principles of Infinity and Minecraft wrapped in Nintendo packaging it could be a huge selling point. The benefit for the Wii U is that the capabilities for an engrossing, intuitive creative experience are all right there in the box thanks to the GamePad. It can read the figurines, while the touch screen and dual-screen setup with the TV put the control into the player's hands; games like Infinity and even Coaster Crazy Deluxe show how easily a touchscreen facilitates an individual's creativity. A recent — though unfortunately withdrawn and lacking credibility — retail listing referencing course creation tools in Mario Kart 8 naturally led to whimsical thinking; it was one of those rumours we wanted to be true, and we still hold a faint but unrealistic hope that it's a major surprise around the corner.

These ideas aren't unprecedented for Nintendo, as F-Zero customisation on the Japan-only Nintendo 64DD showed — even the NES days had course creation tools in some games — but it would be a diversion from the principles largely followed in recent years. We suspect Nintendo's masters of design would rather provide wonderfully structured levels in a prospective game where NFC figurines simply drop characters into the world, but that would be to miss the potential of the platform. Some may be critical of the GamePad and its assorted but largely unused features, but it can be a significant force in this area; out of the box the Wii U can provide an integrated setup perfect for NFC and touch-based creation tools, with physical inputs when needed.

With the GamePad to be promoted with DS games and a "quick-boot" mode, along with games designed to showcase its abilities, the Wii U controller is being shown some commitment ahead of a vital year. The talk of "detailed propositions" for NFC at E3 should also set the agenda for major, ambitious projects. Basic uses, meanwhile, may include instant payments through NFC-enabled cards for eShop funds or individual games, and that'll be a feature welcomed by retailers and consumers alike. As Satoru Iwata acknowledged when outlining plans to boost the GamePad's role, however, Nintendo has so-far failed to "fully communicate the value of the GamePad". With ambitious software, these goals can be collaborated with a desire to improve merchandising and licensing.

Minecraft, Skylanders and Disney Infinity have shown that consumers flock to creative freedom and collectibles, with Infinity perhaps fusing the two most effectively so far. We don't want Nintendo to stop using its expertise to bring us brilliantly crafted games, but it should also use the multi-functional GamePad for other means — give players a Nintendo world they can call their own.

What do you think? Can NFC and the GamePad contribute to a both new Nintendo project on Wii U that takes the best of experiences such as Minecraft and Disney Infinity? Are there other uses of NFC you'd like to see, or do you dislike it as a whole? Let us know in the comments below.

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User Comments (66)



XCWarrior said:

I initially was really interested in Skylanders, until it dawned on me they are just DLC. And in the beginning, they were at least kinda cheap DLC. Now they are really expensive DLC.

So no, I don't want Nintendo to do much in this area. Feel bad for parents who are suckered into buying those things... and let's face it, Pokemon Rumble U was a clear indicator Nintendo really didn't want to go this route. I don't expect anything major in the area.

And for what its worth, 2014 is vital to the WiiU. Nintendo is fine since 3DS is doing great - forget projections, it was the top selling system of 2013, that is what matters.



MegaAdam said:

Make a Pokemon version of Skylanders. Money. Printed. Especially with the NFC capability in the GamePad, I don't know why they didn't go further than with a mediocre game like Pokemon Rumble U. They need a full blown Pokemon title of some sort on Wii U with the toys to match. That will be money.

Not that that is something I would like personally, but with a bit of a marketing push, it would sell phenomenally. And they need to get in before the market is totally saturated.



rjejr said:

I've been saying this a lot recently. My kids are addicted to Minecraft, and they've made they're share of SSBB levels - as extremely limited as that editor was. They've also enjoyed building levels in Mod Nation Racers and Little big Planet 1 and 2. I don't think Nintendo has had anything like those games. They do have the IP though. Pokepark Adventure 2 expanded enough on Pokepark that I could imagine a 3rd game going open world w/ NFC toys.

Or since they are taking Subspace Emissary out of SSB they could build a similar game to that relying on NFC toys and allowing for building levels. But really building them like in MNR or LBP, not like SSBB.

I'ld also like to see a Planet Pikmin game where you get to actually live there - a cross between Animal Crossing growing and caring for Pikmin and fighting creatures as in Monster Hunter. Not sure how NFC would play into that - there's a limited set of Pikmin and creatures - but I do think it would make a wonderful setting for a creative open world type game.

Good read TW, hopefully Nintendo takes your advice. Can't imagine a better use for the Gamepad than creating levels i a world. And since the NFC is in there they might as well use it. Pokemon Rumble use ended before we could buy an toys, we just used the free one from Gamestop.



banacheck said:

I love LBP for that kind of thing, some of the levels made by people is unbelievable. Everything from 2D shooter to racers, platformers. Game's that you wouldn't think where possible to make, Mod Nation Racers was another really good one which is on the PS+ this week for the PSVITA.



Nintenjoe64 said:

1. Create figurines
2. ????
3. Profit

Maybe they should have made Nintendoland as a game that needed NFC figures. Quite why they made it a closed game with no DLC is still beyond me. So many people would have wanted a Star Fox game and expansions to some of the existing ones.



Darknyht said:

While I think there are opportunities for NFC, I really hope that they do not follow the Skylanders/Disney Infinity route. They both encourage you to buy a lot of DLC via figurines and in the case of Disney Infinity lock out multiplayer content without additional purchase.

Pokemon is probably the easiest franchise to do NFC with, but it would be interesting to see the premise of Smash Bros fully realized as a NFC game with figures/sandbox mode. To have Link have to survive in Metroid's world, Samus save Princess Peach, and then everyone go racing on the F-Zero track.



Shworange said:

A NFC Nintendo themed world builder would be incredible! Make and customize your mushroom kingdom. Touch Samus to the game pad and you can now unlock SR-71 (or some world like that) that you build. Touch DK to the pad and you build his world. All worlds are interconnected and most importantly, you can visit friends or random people's worlds. Sign me up. The only road block would be Nintendo of course not implementing such a fantastic creation.



unrandomsam said:

I was thinking about this earlier today (And how I really hope Nintendo doesn't do it).

None of the things NFC is useful for are things Nintendo has anything to do with. (Travel Tickets / Stock Control.)



Inkling said:

Hmmmm... I'd prefer DLC...

Ah well, a cross-platform, open-world online play Nintendo Universe with NFC would be amazing! Make your own Zelda dungeons, make Mario levels and (long shot) make games with a builder like Wario Ware DIY with your Miis!

I would love to see make your own games with Miis and Mario levels, honestly!



Yorumi said:

If done right this would be absolutely huge. It wasn't really covered so much in the article but if they sold figures for every IP nintendo owns, and each one came with a level editor for it's type of game, you would instantly appease everyone who says "why doesn't nintendo make a game in <insert name here> IP."

You could buy starfox figurines and design starfox levels and distribute them to other players. Metriod, kirby, f-zero, mario, zelda, etc. It'd be a gold mine, and I'd love to just display the figures, having them also useful in a game is a bonus.

The level designer needs to be simple and easy to use so everyone can do it, but deep enough that good designers could to some degree design their own game in the series. Sure it's more expensive than a single game, but you're getting so much more, endless content generation would be well worth the money.



ICHIkatakuri said:

@XCWarrior I was reading this and thinking exactly the points you raised about NFC. The only way the idea of NFC over dlc would work in my mind, would be if Nintendo had the dlc for those that don't want lots of little figures or cards about as well as a range of toys which advertised the game, but as an added bonus could be used to add the dlc via NFC.



element187 said:

@Shworange Nintendo should do their own version of Infinity, not Skylanders...

Building your own Mushroom Kingdom and then sending Link to traverse through it? EPIC... But being a Nintendo game, would it even have internet multiplayer?



10000mario said:

With Disney Infinity being hands down the best game I have ever played, I think this would be a money makin machine for Nintendo. Setting Mario on the gamepad and watching him appear in a Zelda/Pikmin/Metroid themed world would be awesome. SSB 3D (to a lesser extent) would be possible, you can battle one another in Disney Infinity, Imagine Mario throwing fireballs ect.



cfgk24 said:

We could have a fabulous high quality 2D Top Down Space shooter MMO and you collect the different spaceships to use on NFC. . ...
If Nintendo got it right - they could build a game that utilised the whole screen on a large flat screen TV (like that assault course game in Nintendoland) and had everyone on the screen a tty esame time but you zoomed into the area that the battle was raging on in.



SecondServing said:

Nothing can make the Wii U succeed except for MK8 and Smash. If those two can't move units, well you know.



Romeo said:

i always hated NFC.. at least the idea of NFC for video game consoles
i just want to lay back and enjoy the great games.. i have no interest in all this useless gimmick



Lord said:

Oddly I've written a NFC game for the wii u, but just can't get it programmed and produced as everyone where I live is too busy with projects... Any idea's?
Cambridge, England.



Corleonis88 said:

I would have loved Fire emblem awakening figurines sold along the character´s card. that you could scan and add into the game



DarkKirby said:

I'm not paying for physical items to interact with my video games. I personally don't understand people who do. It's glorified pay to win at worst and a subscription based game at best.

You get the bonus if a figurine? I'd rather spend my money on a high quality figurine then a cheap piece of garbage that gives me something in a game. I could just play a MMO that has Cash Shop and I wouldn't have to go to a store to buy stuff for the game.



Yorumi said:

@DarkKirby I don't think you know what a lot of those terms mean. Pay to win is a type of design. It's like saying I don't want another mario because it could be a fps. Um yeah I guess but there's no reason it has to be.

A subscription based game is one in which you're paying a, typically monthly, fee to be able to play a game. A one time fee is dlc, not subscription. At that point we're just into arguments about paying for content.

The only difference between one of these figures and any other one is the inclusion of a nfc chip. The quality of the figurine has not relevance to whether they can put a nfc chip in it. Quality, painted, pvc figurines sell for anywhere from $5-$150 depending on size. The $150 ones are usually about a foot tall and very intricate. The cheaper ones are high quality they're just small(2 to 4 inches). There's nothing that says these would have to be low quality.

It's a version of monitization that if done right, allows for nearly infinite content generation. Personally I think it's worth it. Companies have abused every single form of monitization every used for video games including the one time $60 purchase. If we rejected ideas just because someone somewhere has abused it before we'd have to reject all purchasable games.



Shworange said:

Multiplayer via internet would be very cool if they could figure out something great and creative to utilize it.
I hate getting excited over a game that may never exist.



gatorboi352 said:

@linkzero65 I think what he's saying is by the time those titles come out, if MK8 and/or Smash haven't turned the Wii U's fortunes then it will be too late.



gatorboi352 said:

Interesting stuff Thomas. I too would like to see the NFC features more utilized. I just don't really know how. The suggestions you've proposed likening to Skylanders and Infinity are nice, but they are also things already having been done and are well established. It's almost like trying to be that 3rd game out following the success of Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Good luck with that!

I've said it before, and it definitely rings true in regards to the NFC aspect: In Wii U and the GamePad, Nintendo has created a jack of all trades, master of none. It's becoming really difficult for them to portray the value in the system. A year and a half in and they are still admitting this. Another half a year we wait until they unveil their new plan of attack (and until the next major retail release )

Tough times indeed. I'm running out of Virtual Console titles to play lol.... le sigh. At least the browser is phenomenal; it's the sole aspect of the system that flat out "wow"s people when they come over.



faint said:

@adamical i get what you mean but this seems so limited. It would really limit the game environments and ways to play. Wouldn't it be better to use from all franchises instead of just Pokemon



NintyMan said:

I've been wanting Nintendo to tap into NFC more for a long time. They're sitting on a potential goldmine of not only profit, but creative ideas. I've thought about getting Disney Infinity before, but if there was ever something like Nintendo Infinity announced, I would see my wallet be set on fire before my eyes! It would be like buying Super Smash Bros. trophies, a concept I mentioned before and got flamed about.

Of course, Nintendo doesn't have to join the Skylanders and Disney Infinity bandwagon. They could think of some other unique, creative game for NFC, but the question is what would that be? Regardless, I would love if Nintendo decided to let players have more creativity, the kind of creativity like in WarioWare D.I.Y. and Showcase.



Williaint said:

I'm all for customization (Of levels, weapons, vehicles... anything), and completely agree the G-Pad is perfect for this. Using the control sticks to move around the arena, and if it's a 3D plane, along the Z axis. The D-pad to scroll through items, or even full control on the touch screen.
I don't like the idea of NFC figurines, since you could get the same effect — at a much cheaper cost — from cards. The AR Cards for the 3DS work well, and something similar could be done with the Wii U. Compared to the figurines, you could call it cheap, I'd say it's way more efficient.



Yorumi said:

@Williaint it depends on what specifically you're looking for. I have a lot of shelves and cases for storing figures. I import a lot of anime figures and stuff, so the nfc figurines are good for collectors. It's hard to display cards. Ultimately they could achieve the same effect with dlc as well. So for someone like me it's great because it's new content for a game, but also another figure I can display.



FJOJR said:

This could be big in reviving some dormant franchises like F-Zero or Star Fox. Pair figurines of new characters with enjoyable new TV series to promote the franchises and you might have a hit among kids and adults.



dAvecaster said:

Get an RTS running on the gamepad. Multiplayer against another player on the tv. Star Wars licence. Online against friends (or co-op). Winner.

Or do the same with Doom.



ultraraichu said:

I'm all for the NFC since it a nice thing for collectors with their games, especially if you're the type who collect nintendo figures regardless.

What would be cool is if they create NFC cards for certain games so you can store your data to play on another Wii U.

For example the New SSB game can come with a NFC card that allows you to store your control set-up (like with SSBB and the Wii remote) and maybe your custom stage and fighter if possible. This would be great for tournaments and other get togethers.



Cinaclov said:

"With NFC the potential for a Nintendo 'World', in which characters from various IPs do as they please in user-generated levels, is hugely exciting. With the principles of Infinity and Minecraft wrapped in Nintendo packaging it could be a huge selling point."

Yes! A sort of Smash Bros/Disney Infinity-like set up where you could buy 'trophies' similar to those from Smash Bros, scan them into a game and just... play. That's... I'm excited just thinking about it. And imagine if every piece of Nintendo branded merchandise in the future had an NFC bonus embedded in it or the packaging? You buy a soundtrack, the case unlocks that soundtrack in a game. Zelda Mangas unlocking artwork and weapons, or plushies unlocking characters.

I'd be bankrupt within weeks.



aaronsullivan said:

Hey, I was just making walls of text about this on Nintendo Life a couple weeks ago.

Disney Infinity model could work great: The key is that adults don't mind spending money on the figurines because they are just about collector level and they are characters you have a deep connection to.

Nintendo could pull that off.

The key thing is the creative mode like the Toy Box in Disney Infinity. It works exactly like a real Toy Box with my kids and their friends. They just swap in toys create a play ground and just mess with stuff for hours.

Combine that with Nintendo-style focused gameplay styles and mixed IPs and it's golden.



erv said:

If only nintendo listened to me. They could earn big bucks, be the market leader and have the stock go nothing but up, surpassing exxons market value in 1.5 years. I would also launch hybrid cyborg puppies that would sell like hotcakes.

With a development time of half a month of course. At low production costs. With a mind reader telekinesis bonus.

I'd save nintendo.



Daz-brum said:

Imagine Mario kart 8 with collectable characters that have their unique causes on top of the standard tracks, plus mirror and rainbow road etc, how cool. Would that be WoW..



Williaint said:

Cards could be stored in a folder. Like sports cards, in a plastic case. I can see how some people might like to have the figures as a kind of trophies (And having a double use, as an NFC thing, makes them better), but it's just not for me. I'd probably end up storing them in an old box, full of abandoned cords.



Sir_JBizzle said:

With the NFC tech on the GamePad, I was actually quite surprised that NFC wasn't the transfer method for the Fit Meter. I felt that was a missed opportunity there.

I think as others have pointed out (also in the article) that a sandbox style game could totally work for Nintendo. I think people would eat that up for the sheer fact that other Nintendo characters are visiting in other characters worlds (That would totally take me back to the "Captain N: The Game Master" days! Which by the way, would be an awesome character in Smash Bros! Tell me I'm not the only one who remembers this show) . I mean that's pretty much the premise of Smash Bros. so why couldn't it work for Disney Infinity type of game?

Naturally, NFC instant payments would be a welcome addition of course. It would be an awesome system to have particularly for those who buys the prepaid cards. No more entering no long string of numbers. Tap and go.

Another idea is why don't they embed NFC tech in Pokemon Cards. I don't know how popular the trading card game is now, heck, I don't even know if it's financially feasible to do so, but in my mind I have a Pokemon game on the Wii U much like how the kids used to played back in the day. You could have clubs, online tourneys, Nintendo could host tournaments occasionally where you could win prizes. Obviously, the game would have unlockables and other goodies. You can even have a "Play-by-Mail" feature, to play your turn at your convenience.



Yorumi said:

@JQuest oh man capt. N would be great in smash bros. I was really young when that was on but I do remember watching some of it.



DreamOn said:

With the NFC game world idea, I could see Nintendo taking the Pokemon Snap concept and expanding it to be like a Nintendo Snap with collectible figurines to "snap" inside and outside the game with Miiverse sharing and all that.

This type of "snap" game could possibly give the player a sense of freedom and control while also letting Nintendo retain its design control of what's presented in the game.



FireHorsePrime said:

I could maybe see some success with a "Ring System". The NFC code contained in rings you can wear or put on a pendant. I'm not talking big plastic Cracker Jack rings, but well made jewelry. They would come in all sorts of collectible designs and maybe even have adult sizes for older players. What they would do is up to the game or even Nintendo. The obvious app would be something of Lord of the Rings. But I see a broader audience for this. Adventures would definitely be well suited for tracking players and interactions on-line. If you could assign your NFC code to your Mii, playing with others on compatible titles would be just a matter of swiping your ring. I could see this opening up a new dimension to Nintendo that would expand their merchandise market in a new direction. But something tells me they've thought of this already. My take on this is based on the fact that kids are enjoying interactive gameplay with their friends using their skylanders/infinity figures. For the NFC take it down a notch and give the user something they can transport easier than a collection of figurines.



JaxonH said:

Nintendo ever decides to make a game like Skylanders/Disney Infinity only with Nintendo characters, well, it's a wrap. No force on earth could stop a game like that from selling muchos copies worldwide. I'd be ok with it too, cause chances are it'd be a really fun game, even if it is marketed to a younger audience. More importantly, I'd be able to collect figures for my collector's shelf. $20 says that's exactly what Nintendo does, too. It makes way too much sense not to.



OliverAdam said:

"Attention will shift to Mario Kart 8, following the ludicrously successful Wii entry" oh man the certainty..



Pj1 said:

Minecraft coming to Wii-U really? Does anyone know for sure?



jakysnakydx said:

@adamical This is seriously what I don't understand. They made instead pokemon rumble U which in my frank opinion was a stupid piece of junk. Sure, it has a few kicks, but of everything Nintendo could do with NFC and Pokemon that was their play? Weak and ignorant if you ask me.



CliveWinston said:

@Williaint I also like the idea of cards over figurines... I used to be into sports cards, until it got too expensive, and the market plummeted and became over-saturated, but pulling that 1 in 1000 packs auto/relic or whatever it might be sure was fun, seems like they could implement the same principle in a game, whether it be special characters or items or even bonus levels..



Mahe said:

The best way to give players control would be to stop making the Gamepad mandatory. It's just a terribly implemented, cumbersome controller.



Williaint said:

Actually, Mojang has not said that Minecraft is NOT coming to Wii U, or rather, they have NO plans to at this time. That was a While ago...
You could also relate them to Pokemon cards, if that's more your thing, if the cards were packaged like that.... in a 6 pack, for instance, 4 are regular, 1 is rare to very rare, and 1 is a random regular-very rare.
One problem I foresee is that Skylanders and Disney infinite's audience — the audience that Nintendo would be seeking for this — look like "some cheap" gimmick, or a even ripoff. Pokemon cards were popular for a while (for all I know, they still are), and Nintendo may try to make lightning strike in the same place again using cards....



fortius54 said:

@adamical I agree completely with you. Imagine playing this online with someone else. It would be a gold mine. When they originally announced built in NFC technology, I thought that Pokemon was what they were bringing, and they did. However, they completely struck out. They could announce this at E3, and it would steal the show. Deal is they already have hundreds of characters to work with.



fortius54 said:

From a profitability standpoint, I think the figures are the way to go. I'll be honest. We have Infinity, and everything is great about except for the blind pack power discs. I hate those things. I love the concept, but I hate the fact that there are so few of those stupid things in each series that you get countless double. At $5 per pack, that can be infuriating.



AyeHaley said:

I would love a Minecraft or Infinity-like Nintendo game on Wii U, the only reason I haven't bought Skylanders or Infinity is due to my lack of passion for those brands and characters. (Though I would buy Infinity if they added more classic films like Sleeping Beauty etc)
I would buy the heck out of Nintendo NFC figurines, especially if its more than just "drop a character in the game".



Daemonite said:

Truth is, there are so many things Nintendo can do to boost WiiU sales numbers... but they just refuse to do so. Why? Nintendo thinks VC or ds-games on WiiU consoles (a.k.a releasing the same games over and over and over again) is enough to make big bucks, they feel like there's no need to introduce something new or original, just because they are "Nintendo". The abysmal sales numbers are entirely their own fault.



rastamadeus said:

A friend and I were discussing last night how much money Nintendo and Game Freak could make if they teamed up with Lego and made Pokémon minifigures. There's, what, nearly 700 of them? That's god knows how many series of collections which would produce an endless supply of money for all three companies.

Then we had the idea of a Travellers Tale Lego Pokémon game where you could use the minifigures and the Wii U's NFC to add in new Pokémon. Another few billion in the bank.

As we got more and more into it - we're both 30 this year and must've sounded odd while others were revelling in the latest Man United calamity (#MoyesIn) - we thought, "Why just Pokémon?"

Imagine an open world-ish RPG starting the entire Nintendo universe but in an Age Of Apocalypse-type setting. Not as in a decimated world but were roles are twisted, some heroes you love are now villains and certain dastardly villains are now good. As an example Mario, fed up of the constant fighting with Bowser or what not touches the entire Triforce and becomes some sort of Demi God but his desire for a peaceful world takes him loopy (I'm not a writer and it's just an example).

We called it Warp Zone (well I did, he hates it) and as I said it could be a huge open world RPG, the battles not turn based but a simplified version of Smash Bros - like in Pokémon you have four special moves and can leave new ones, replacing others, as you level up so not every, say, Link, would have the same moves - and a toy company could release sets and figures which let you use NFC to add them in game providing new content.

If it worked and people wanted more in a sequel? Add in Sega characters. Double money.

Probably nonsense to you all but we thought that sounds good and would be a monster success.



Kirk said:

This is modern day Nintendo imo: Often comes up with these potentially amazing ideas and concepts but rarely realizes them to their full potential and mostly just fails to deliver and/or live up to the average consumer/gamer expectations leaving many people totally disappointed and frustrated in the process.

Hence why the vast majority of potential customers are no longer buying Nintendo's systems or even it's games and hence why the Wii U is totally flopping as I type.

What a waste and what a shame.



Alucard83 said:

Well i ordered my WII U today . Tomorrow i will be playing for the first time WII U. There are enough top games and couldn't resist.



Folkloner said:

@rjejr yep...that's my perfect game right there, Animal Crossing/Harvest moon meets Little King's Story set in the Pikmin Universe. Make that and i'll buy 10 copies!



zool said:

None of this is going to sell the Wii u. It may interest some of the younger gamers who already have a Wii u.



LittleIrves said:

Freakyforms and U. A sequel using the GamePad to construct your Formees and a huge world to explore amongst other user-created characters. Go on quests, take part in races. I'd buy that. (Me and ten other people. Oh well.)



plunkettmonster said:

I feel that NFC's would be a great addition to the gaming versatility of the Wii U. It would be a money maker for sure for Nintendo, especially if they made Mario based NFC's. Can you imagine being able to pick up your favorite Mario brothers characters at a toy or game store, then taking them home and playing with them in two different ways, one way physical and the other digitally. I know an open world where you are free to chose your hero from the Mario Bros universe would not only appeal to children and gamers but also collectors and adults who remember playing these games back in the day. I remeber an article posted here some months ago about a notable game designer working on a new IP, maybe its a Mario based NFC game, one can only hope. The more I think this over the more I want to play a Mario based Skylander's esque game, so I hope Nintendo has something like this up their sleeves !



alLabouTandroiD said:

With Nintendo Land they already have a setting where bringing all these Nintendo characters together in on place could work. As they have with Brawl and in some way with the Kart and the sports games too.
I don't know if you really can make something amazing out of all this though.



mamp said:

I think they could definitely do it especially since people love Nintendo characters. I think a cool idea would be if they work off of the original smash bros and make all the Nintendo characters toys and you take on the role of the hands that were playing with them and you use your imagination to create amazing worlds to play with your samus figurine and your kirby plush.



Alucard83 said:

They are also forgetting one important thing. Nintendo is hardly giving to the player option to change the control setting. You have to play as they see fit in, but it hardly works this way. Playing legend of zelda windwaker HD now and got Im still not used to the b & a button! On gamecube A was rolling (which is for me the B button). I'm a bit pissed off that they didn't put more effort in it.



Action51 said:

I think Pokemon has the biggest and best potential for an NFC universe game.

As much as I love Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Kid Icarus, Donkey Kong, Xenoblade, Etc...Pokemon is just tailor made for this kind of game.



Action51 said:

@Alucard83 Glad to have you on board!

Trust me when I say that it is a very fun console that feels like the classic consoles of old, but with all the modern functionality. Pick up Wonderful 101 and Need for Speed: Most Wanted while you can still find them (and at a discount too).

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