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Nintendo announces new NFC platform for show at E3 2014

Thursday, 8th May 2014 04:20 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Nintendo said it wasn’t showing new hardware at E3 2014, but it’s actually bringing a new NFC reader for 3DS, as part of a suite of cross-compatible 3DS and Wii U games.

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Nintendo FY2014 Investor briefing

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NFC 3DS add-on announced, will be shown at E3 2014.

First smart device app announced – Mario TV.

Wii U no longer making a loss on hardware sales.

The new hardware was announced today during an investor briefing. The briefing text is available in Japanese, but various Twitter users have translated details, including reliable analyst David Gibson.

According to these reports, a new series of games and figures codenamed Nintendo Figurine Platform is in the works. For 3DS, there’s a reader that uses infra red communication, while the Wii U will use the Game Pad’s in-built NFC abilities.

The NFC reader will be used with figurines, and will be capable of both reading and writing data, so that you can customise characters to your own tastes.

Rather than being confined to one game like the Skylanders or Disney Infinity add-ons, the figurine will be compatible with a range of titles – giving publishers an interesting way to sell add-on content, perhaps. Only one figurine was shown during the briefing – Mario, of course.

The figures and peripheral have been in the works for about one year, and will be shown at E3 2014 along with a number of software titles.

The NFP is just one initiative from the new Business Development department, which is also working on finding new markets and investigating smart devices.

Nintendo had told us it wasn’t bringing hardware to E3, but was presumably referring to consoles when this comment was made; the 3DS NFC reader is a peripheral.

3DS and Wii U

The 3DS has hit 43 million sales worldwide, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told investors, commenting that it is now time for the platform holder to rake in the rewards of its efforts with the portable. The new Pokémon and the international release of Tomodachi Life were presented as upcoming highlights, as well as upcoming third-party titles like Monster Hunter 4G and Yo-kai Watch 2.

As for the Wii U, Nintendo hopes Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros will help it gain momentum. More Wii U games will be shown at E3, apparently.

The Wii U’s June system update will increase the console’s boot time by 20 seconds, Iwata added.

One final note on the Wii U: Nintendo said the 3.6 million 2014 sales forecast it made during its end of year financial report is “conservative”. However, the company doesn’t currently have the stock on hand to meet this target. The hardware is no longer selling at a loss.

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Miscellaneous

The first smart device app will go live by the end of the fiscal year, Nintendo said.: Mario Kart TV will allow players to share clips and rankings.

Nintendo said it has nothing to announce at present but is still looking into licensing its properties; it announced this initiative at its last investor briefing, but it’s yet to bear publicly-aired fruit.

Nintendo’s development teams will move into a new building around June, where they will be able to collaborate and share with each other more freely than in their current, insular office set up.

Investor Q&A

Iwata said he expects to increase profits this financial year, and although the following year won’t be huge, it will set a solid foundation for FY17. Nintendo’s quality of life platform will be an intrinsic part of this growth, and Iwata asked investors to have trust that Nintendo knows how to get people hooked.

The president said Nintendo is not pessimistic about its future in games but wants to explore other business strategies as well. This is not uncommon in Japan; Bandai Namco is one half toy empire, Konami makes most of its money from gyms, and Sega Sammy runs pachinko parlours. Iwata said Nintendo sees itself as an “entertainment company” rather than a games company.

Investors asked when Nintendo would release a new console, and Iwata said he couldn’t predict such a thing right now. He went on to say Nintendo won’t release new hardware if current users aren’t satisfied. Well.

Regarding its push for new markets, Iwata said Nintendo wants to bring something special to these territories rather than localise existing products and bump the price up.

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8 Comments

  1. fihar

    Well, it’s certainly one way of bringing in more money I suppose.

    One thing’s for sure, getting your hands on Event Pokemons is definitely going to be more complicated.

    #1 5 months ago
  2. Joe Musashi

    Well NFC dongles have worked for Skylanders and Disney Infinity – though both those titles were conceived around the idea of the NFC components rather than adding NFC at some later stage.

    “The Wii U’s June system update will increase the console’s boot time by 20 seconds, Iwata added.”

    The boot time is one thing. Transitions from one area of the OS to another is also an area that needs to be addressed. Combined with the poorly labelled UI it’s a truly painful experience to navigate. No matter the level of distracting whimsy they pepper the screen with.

    “Well.”

    Quite.

    “..and Iwata asked investors to have trust that Nintendo knows how to get people hooked.”

    To which my (and anyone’s) immediate response should be: “Then why have you chosen not to utilise this knowledge recently?”. Don’t politely ask me to understand.

    Still, whilst this doesn’t cater to my personal interests, it’s evident that Nintendo are dragging themselves into the present day. However, the overriding impression given is one of a follower, not a leader.

    JM

    #2 5 months ago
  3. mistermogul

    How can a company be so great and shit at the same time?!

    #3 5 months ago
  4. Dragon

    “Iwata said Nintendo sees itself as an “entertainment company” rather than a games company.”
    Thank the heaven. Aside from ninty fanboy drivel which revels in the fact that ninty is a “game only” company (heard this nonsensical argument a billion times from fanboys), its not the way forward. Yamauchi tried his very best to expand ninty, hopefully present ninty board takes forward that approach. It will make them immune to weakness in a particular market.

    3DS NFC? Great idea. Now start using Pokemon and other kids franchises the way they could be used.
    However, as always, I will wait to see how they execute the plan, since they suck at that part.

    #4 5 months ago
  5. schnide

    @Dragon

    I will give you one free compliment if you stop using the word Ninty and can make everyone else do the same. Hell with it – let’s make it two compliments.

    #5 5 months ago
  6. ManuOtaku

    Well i like the idea, but they need to implememted themselves firts, i meam all nintendo titles to have available this option since this announcement, so i can add these figurines to all their upcoming games. Dont Leave this to third party like in wiiU launch, show the way, and when it succeeds, then they will be implementing it as well.
    I hope All the decisions torwards becoming an enterteinment company, are game related like this NFC thing.
    @dragon I cannot speak for the other commenters that are nintendo fans, or were part of the called nintendo defense force, but when i stated that nintendo was a gaming only company, is just pointing out that it was a sort of disanvantadge, because sony and microsoft have other business that might help them survive hard times in their respective gaming division, and with nintendo not having that advantadge it is more prone to close when gaming suffer. But also i see it as an advantadget because is the main focus, i hope this direction torwards an enterteinment company is gaming centric related like the nfc figurines, though.

    #6 5 months ago
  7. ManuOtaku

    @Joe Musashi i agree with you NFC comment, however if i dont recall wrong the WiiU gamepad was desing with NFC enabled, so it is a possibility that this idea was conceive during the inception of the WiiU.
    As For the rest i dont agree to some extent with your points, but is your opinion worth be seeing.

    #7 5 months ago
  8. salarta

    “We’re not releasing new hardware, now check out this new hardware we’re releasing.”

    #8 5 months ago

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