comScore Nintendo's Smash Bros. NFC Toys Probably Aren't DLC | The Mary Sue
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Relax, Nintendo’s NFC Figurines Probably Aren’t Smash Bros. Toy-Based DLC

Remember, Nintendo's problem is usually that their peripherals are unnecessary.


Just a few weeks ago, Nintendo announced that they would be releasing near field communications figurines for Wii U and 3DS, and that the NFP (near field platform) would be used across multiple 3DS and Wii U titles. It was just announced that Smash Bros. would be one of those games, but take a few deep breaths and remember there really aren’t any specifics yet.

The news comes from French newspaper Le Figaro, in which Nintendo France General Director Stephan Bole said, “E3 is also an opportunity to show the use of NFC technology in Nintendo consoles. The NFC will be used in the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros.”

Some people have taken this to mean that the figurines would be necessary to unlock the game’s characters. Personally, I’d be shocked if Nintendo required Smash Bros. players to buy the figurines to unlock characters. That’s not to say I see it as impossible for them to add characters that way in the future, but I don’t see it happening outside of special circumstances. The figurines might unlock characters, but only as an optional alternative to the old fashioned way.

There are several reasons I’m not concerned about having to pay for Smash Bros. characters, and one of those is that Masahiro Sakurai, the game’s director, made comments early in the games’ development about not expanding the roster too far. He didn’t think bloating the roster would be good for the game, and I’d be very surprised if Nintendo wanted people to buy extra toys to unlock characters they got for free in previous games.

Also, the game’s character customization system was briefly mentioned in the Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct, but Sakurai said we’d have to wait until E3 to learn more about it. E3 is also where the NFP will make its real debut, so it would make sense that he had to hold off on explaining that feature until then.

Saving character customization data on the figurines to bring it to a friend’s house or import it to your Wii U from the 3DS version (which could still also use NFP, though Bole didn’t mention it) of the game sounds a lot more like something Nintendo would go for. Sakurai has always wanted the two versions of the game to interact in some way, but for all we know about the games, there hasn’t been any form of direct connection between the two. This is probably it.

On top of that, the figurines are supposed to work across multiple games, so it’s more likely that they’re just a character data storage system than that they’re intended to be used to unlock anything important inside any specific game.

Again, is it possible Nintendo will go the DLC route? Sure, but I really doubt it. So, if the news that Smash Bros. will use the NFP is giving you “Disc Locked Content” panic attacks, you might as well just wait and see what they’ve actually got planned at E3.

(via Eurogamer, image via Nintendo)

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