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Super Smash Bros' NFC Tech could be a true game changer - if Nintendo gets it right

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
NFC, Nintendo, Super Smash Bros

Super Smash Bros' NFC Tech could be a true game changer - if Nintendo gets it right

NFC is all the rage these days. No, not some sort of Fried Chicken restaurant. Near-Field Compatibility. This technology powers Skylanders and Disney Infinity, letting you wirelessly transfer data between the games and toys to create a true transmedia experience.

What many of you may not know, however, is that the Wii U GamePad supports this as standard - while Nintendo are quietly working on a 3DS peripheral alongside a range of chipped figurines. They've now announced that Super Smash Bros. will support the toy line... and if handled properly it could totally revitalise the console's prospects while being a whole heap of fun for us gamers to boot.

IF.

Super Smash Bros' NFC Tech could be a true game changer - if Nintendo gets it right

Nintendo France boss Stephan Bole confirmed the news to Le Figaro newspaper. "E3 is also an opportunity to show the use of NFC technology in Nintendo consoles," he explained. "The NFC will be used in the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros."

"What is especially unique about NFP is that it is not classed as an accessory product of a certain software title but as a platform itself," Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata previously explained.

"In other words, the figurines, which consumers can buy and collect, are going to work with multiple software titles to be released in the future, and we are aiming to develop more software titles compatible with the figurines."

So... what, you might ask?

Here's what. For the first time, Super Smash Bros will support robust and exceptionally versatile customisable movesets for each character, allowing us to create our own totally unique combatants.

Which we could take round to a friend's house by simply recording the profile onto the character's respective figurine. And then transfer onto a 3DS. Or vice-versa. A figurine that could perhaps come with an interesting new moveset we haven't considered. And maybe a unique costume. And then, as per Nintendo's brief, perhaps even export it into other games or use the same information in new ways.

The technology is right there. It's been hidden in the GamePad since launch, yet totally unused. Over the coming years, Nintendo plans to transform it into a unified platform with one range of toys that work throughout an entire plethora of first party games - and Super Smash Bros is just the start.

Then again, they might totally blow it or turn it into an awful DLC extravaganza. But we can't wait to find out!

Add a comment8 comments
Zeipher  May. 23, 2014 at 11:56

I don't get it... will this mean that those of us with no interest in buying toys for the game will lose out on features?

I thought the Wii Controller had its own memory for stuff like this already. I mean, I can save my Miis to it (never did, but I could).

Late  May. 23, 2014 at 12:01

I've always thought NFC is a fantastic thing - for a well established platform.

If you don't have a Wii U, then the news that you can buy loads of little peripherals that'll each work on several different games is not that much of a system seller. In fact, it could easily be argued it's quite the opposite. Buy our pretty cheap console and then you can buy some games, and then you can buy some peripherals, and before you know it you've spent a small fortune and your room is cluttered up. (And of course Nintendo have form for this. The number of peripherals I have for the original Wii is staggering.)
It's not an enticing proposition at all!

On the other hand, if you have a Wii U, and you've bought a few games - the idea that you could buy a little figurine and it'll effectively add a DLC pack to a couple of those games is a very tempting proposition.
Buy this character and you'll get a new character to play as in a couple of your games. Buy this other character and you'll get a new character to play as in a couple of your games. (Possibly the same games as the other character you bought, possibly different ones, or better still, some occasional overlap.) Those new characters will have new moves in your fighting game, or will be able to access new areas in your platformer, or will have new options and character interactions in your rpg, and so on.
It's a definite win-win. The punters are very happy to get bonus content in several games by only buying one item, and developers/publishers absolutely rake it in, when people end up buying their game plus effectively multiple DLC items.

It requires great care and attention, though. If I buy an nfc peripheral I want it to work on at least two games.
And I don't want you to bring out a Mario character that works on some games, and another Mario character that works on other ones.
And if I buy a game I don't want to find out I can't complete it or fully enjoy it unless I have certain characters.
To be fair, Nintendo are pretty good at that sort of balancing act, and I have faith they'll do a decent job of it - so long as all third parties play ball.

All in all, it probably made sense to wait 18 months or so to start using NFC as "the new big thing" in their games. It gave them chance to get the consoles into as many million homes as possible. (They didn't manage that, but the reasoning seems sound.)

JonLester  May. 23, 2014 at 12:01

I don't get it... will this mean that those of us with no interest in buying toys for the game will lose out on features?


We don't know.

That's rather the point of this speculative little post - Nintendo has the option to add exciting extra functionality without losing features, for example the portable Skylanders-esque movelist sharing, and add cool new stuff across multiple games.

Or they could effectively lock on-disc DLC to people who buy naff little toys.

We'll have to see.

@Late: you won't have to buy peripherals for the Wii U - the GamePad is already NFC-ready!

Last edited by JonLester, May. 23, 2014 at 12:05
Late  May. 23, 2014 at 12:07

I maybe wasn't clear.
By nfc peripherals I meant the little characters with their little microchips embedded, ready for you to put near your controller with it's inbuilt nfc chip.

JonLester  May. 23, 2014 at 12:09

Ah righto, I'm with you. 8)

Late  May. 23, 2014 at 12:14

I also fully expect to see some dodgy devices you can buy on t'internet, probably shipped from China (as they're usually quick to hack/develop such things, and quick to mass-produce them).

Put this little black skull nfc figurine near your controller and you'll unlock every character.
Nintendo have brought out a new character? Not to worry! Just plug your black skull device into your pc (or just hold it somewhere near your nfc-enabled pc/phone) and download the latest patch - you'll now be able to play as that new character...

imdurc  May. 23, 2014 at 15:45

I also fully expect to see some dodgy devices you can buy on t'internet, probably shipped from China (as they're usually quick to hack/develop such things, and quick to mass-produce them).

Put this little black skull nfc figurine near your controller and you'll unlock every character.
Nintendo have brought out a new character? Not to worry! Just plug your black skull device into your pc (or just hold it somewhere near your nfc-enabled pc/phone) and download the latest patch - you'll now be able to play as that new character...


A quick check of ebay shows no such thing for Skylanders or Disney Infinity.

This came up though - http://kotaku.com/5871789/man-hacks-skylanders-gets-nasty-letter-from-activision

Late  May. 23, 2014 at 16:09

I'm not technically minded, but a very quick google indicates you probably don't need much more than this device and this editor.
Like I say, it's all above me, so I've not looked into it. Probably wouldn't get anywhere before being completely confused.



Naturally, construction/retail/use would likely be illegal, and you'd have the lawyers of big multinational corporations all over you if they knew you were doing it and could track you down, and you were in a country where they could properly wield their power.

Last edited by Late, May. 23, 2014 at 16:10

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