Today, a Nintendo of France representative let slip that the upcoming Super Smash Bros on Wii U will help showcase the company’s NFC plans at E3. Namely, the game will apparantly interact with collectible figurines, much in the manner of Skylanders or Disney Infinity. While we don’t know this is 100% true, it’s undeniably plausible. What way Nintendo wouldn’t want to make new streams of revenue, right?
More importantly, despite the Nintendo rep’s comments, we don’t know just how the game would possibly use NFC figures. Below are some hypothetical guesses for what we might see at E3, and ultimately on retail shelves this holiday season.
NFC Figures will store your custom save data: From Nintendo’s presentation to their investors this month, we know that their NFC figures are planned to store some form of save data that works with multiple games. In the context of Smash Bros, you can guess how an NFC figure would come into play. The upcoming game has been announced to allow custom move sets for your profile. An NFC figure of Mario or Pikachu would be an endearing physical way to store and transport your profile, perhaps taking it to your friend’s Wii U console, yes?
Assist Trophies sold as physical DLC: The Assist Trophies of Smash Bros are sprung forth from glass containers. Besides the new Smash Bros’ new collection of Assist Trophies, imagine if extra Assists with extraordinary powers were released as physical DLC? You could buy not only figures of already-existing Assists like Ashley and Midna, but surprise additional characters as well. That would open the door to more characters than already announced, including third party characters (hint hint).
New characters sold as NFC figure unlocks: The Smash Bros character roster has been growing slowly since it’s E3 reveal last year. The most distressing thing about the reveals is when characters people want to see aren’t seen in the game yet. I refer you to the case of missing Jigglypuff, who has been in every Smash Bros to date. The concept of NFC figures to unlock fighters in the game would be a clever money trick, opening the door to more fighters than you can stick a shake at. And what if, like Infinity, the figures unlocked new stages as well? That’d be even better.
NFC figures are the link between the 3DS and Wii U games: We’ve known since E3 2011 that the Wii U and 3DS versions of the next Smash will link up in some way. But we still have no concrete idea how they plan to connect, as countless Game Boy Advance and GameCube games did back in the day (cross-system multiplayer has already been ruled out). Nintendo’s recent investors meeting did offer a penny for our thoughts, however. In addition to Wii U, the 3DS is supposed to work with the same Nintendo Figuring Platform as Wii U, via an infrared adapter. What if the NFC figures are the key link between the two versions? It’s a long shot, but imagine exchanging character data back-and-forth between games via the NFC figures. Who needs a simple wireless link via an in-game menu, amirite? It”d be a novel way to bring the 3DS and Wii U games together, for sure.
However NFC is used in Smash Bros, the concept of physical figures would add value and a new angle to the series. Collectors will get access to cool figurines, and players will have that extra connection to their Smash experience. Of course, these supposed figures will have to be not only of high quality, but need to be fairly priced as well, to avoid the outward appearance of tricking consumers (hello, Soul Calibur Lost Swords). Will Nintendo copy Skylanders and Disney Infinity, or will their NFC toys do something completely unique? Hard to say, so we have to wait until E3 to find out.