Nintendo Figurine Platform to launch with Mario-themed figures
Nintendo have revealed their next plan to recover from consecutive annual losses and to drive Wii U and 3DS hardware sales, the Nintendo Figurine Platform.
This will use a peripheral in a similar way to that used for Skylanders and Disney Infinity, which will be compatible with Wii U and 3DS – using the system’s respective built-in NFC and infra-red communication respectively. Mario-themed figures have so far been announced, which will store data, and will see release for Wii U later this year with 3DS to follow in early 2015.
“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’s global president Satoru Iwata explained to investors. “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.
“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. This is why I believe a brand-new type of platform will be born when the character IP becomes compatible with NFP.
“I understand that some of you may be worried that the market for NFP, a platform that will work with a number of software titles, will not grow large enough when it is compatible only with Wii U. If we can make a good use of Nintendo 3DS, which has already sold over 43m units, however, this assumption will greatly change.
“At the same time, there are not only going to be decorative boxes for video game hardware and packages for software, but also Nintendo character figurines displayed on store shelves. This will provide exposure for Nintendo, play a great role in raising our brand awareness and create more opportunities for consumers to play video games.”
Nintendo will demonstrate their new platform at E3 2014, where they will announce compatible titles, alongside the initial wave of figures that they are to release.