Nintendo hopes to save Wii U with NFC figures and games

nintendo announces nfc toys mario

With the Wii U flailing like a drowning victim, unwittingly pulling its rescuer down into the abyss with them, Nintendo needs something big in order to save its wayward console. The company is not diverging too far from its traditional strategies of leveraging its established characters with gameplay mechanical gimmicks. At Nintendo’s financial briefing yesterday, president Iwata outlined a plan to introduce NFC figures in the vein of the explosively popular Skylanders and Disney Infinity, and games designed with them in mind. The figures, demonstrated with Mario, will be usable across multiple games, linking to saves and sharing information between them.

The new figures and games are collectively called NFP, a nested, multi-use acronym which stands for both NFC Featured Platform and Nintendo Figurine Platform, and will debut at this year’s E3 Conference. Also slated for E3 reveal is an IR reader for the 3DS, which will allow the toys to also be compatible with the far more successful handheld.

Despite a lukewarm reception to its first attempt at using the Wii U’s NFC capabilities with Pokémon Rumble UNintendo seems encouraged by the growing popularity of the genre. Interestingly, it previously declined the opportunity for an exclusive deal with Activision for Skylanders. This Johnny-come-lately grab now that the gimmick has taken off has more than a whiff of desperation. There’s a real first-mover advantage in a game like this that involves collecting toys: the more people invest in a particular system, the less likely they are to jump into a new one. Nintendo is banking on the established popularity of its IP having enough weight to compensate for potentially missing out on gamers that are more excited by the concept than any particular characters. You can expect more details at Nintendo’s E3 digital event.

Product Review

It's got game. But the Razer Phone 2 is still crippled by its camera

The Razer Phone 2 will impress with its gaming prowess and 120Hz screen. But if you care at all about taking pictures on your phone, skip it. While Razer has improved the camera, it’s still short of the competition.

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for October 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles as well as bundles that feature games like Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.

The 'Fallout 76' beta starts tomorrow! Here's when it starts and how to join

Want to get into Bethesda's Fallout 76 beta? We don't know when the program will launch, but we provide instructions on how to get ready. The game officially launches on November 14.

This $8,000 ‘Devil May Cry 5’ edition will make the perfect plutocrat gift

We've had to wait 10 years for Devil May Cry 5, and Capcom is pulling out all the stops for the long awaited sequel. One of the limited editions, exclusive to Japan, costs $8,000 and includes a leather replica of Dante's jacket.

Play your games whenever you want with a MicroSD card for your Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch uses cartridge-based games, but its internal storage may fill up quicker than you would think. Here's what you should consider when picking out a microSD card to expand your Switch's storage capacity.

A blizzard of big news is coming to BlizzCon 2018! Here's how you can watch

Tickets for BlizzCon 2018 at the Anaheim Convention Center are sold out, but you can still watch the November 2-3 event at home for your all things Blizzard fix. The opening ceremony featuring all the major news is free to watch for…

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ players are upset over server downgrades

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 users have noticed some network issues caused by a significant drop in server send rates from the beta to the retail release. In response, Treyarch has said it will improve the performance in the coming weeks.

‘Fortnite’ won’t make ‘Save the World’ mode free in 2018 after all

Epic Games has delayed the transition for Fortnite's Save the World free-to-play mode. It was previously scheduled to become free by the end of 2018, just like the battle royale mode.

Get $100 off an Xbox One when you purchase ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’

Red Dead Redemption 2 is just around the corner and anyone looking to buy the game with a new Xbox One console should consider heading to GameStop. A deal gives you $100 off the console when buying the game.

Leaked ‘Overwatch’ Lego sets include Reinhardt, Winston, Mercy, and more

Target has released images for several upcoming Overwatch-themed Lego sets. The sets include a wide variety of characters from the launch-version of the game, as well as a few famous locations.

Strategy guide images show off full ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ map

The full game map for Red Dead Redemption 2 has leaked via the official strategy guide. Several locations from the original Red Dead Redemption are included alongside new locations.