Nintendo President Satoru Iwata announced the development of character figurines that can interact wirelessly with Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS game systems.
Codenamed “NFP” or the “Nintendo Figurine Platform,” the new initiative is part of Iwata’s plans “To establish new and growing areas through the active utilization of character IP.” He further stated that the new character figurines may someday become one of Nintendo’s core business activities.
“With the launch of this new product genre, NFP, which will be compatible with Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, is going to serve as the first example of actively utilizing our own character IP,” Iwata said. “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.’
The collectible figurines will be compatible with multiple software titles currently in development, and a single figurine will have functionality across multiple titles.
Information about NFP was announced at the end of the latest financial results briefing on Wednesday. Nintendo stated that NFP products will be presented at the E3 Electronic Gaming Expo in June 2014 and additional information about the initiative will be disclosed at that time.
Currently only the Wii U has a built-in NFC reader/writer, however Iwata said that a NFC reader/writer for the Nintendo 3DS is in development which will allow for NFP functionality with the 3DS line of products.
Similar products are already on the market and in use by Activision and Disney for their respective Skylanders and Disney Infinity franchises. And after three years of fiscal loss, the NFP initiative appears to be part of Nintendo’s ongoing focus on stimulating sales of the Wii U.