Thursday, 14 November 2013

Smash Bros NFC

It's been a while since I made a post. New job, busy, blah blah, crappy excuses. I've been writing, which is the weird thing, but most of it's gone in the Day 1 journal app I've been testing out, and none of that gets pushed online. Anyway, I'm hoping I can find a better balance between here and there and get some more thoughts out in the universe. Ok, enough on that, this one's been brewing in my head for a while.

As I've said countless times, I love my Wii U. I use it all the time, and after a bit of a bumpy year, there are some truly great games out for the system, and more on the horizon. The Gamepad is awesome for someone like me! I enjoy spending evenings playing video games and chilling with my girlfriend and our puppy. We have a TV upstairs too, but it's nicer to spend some time together. The Gamepad allows me to play off-TV if she doesn't feel like watching what I'm playing, and if she does feel like watching, or is reading or something, the Gamepad has some other cool features that some games take advantage of, and some don't. And that's fine, as long as the game plays well, I really don't car if a developer shoehorns in some new, exciting way to use the gamepad screen. One thing that has been bugging me, however, is the lack of attention that the NFC reader is getting. I think I've come up with a pretty cool solution for that problem.

Nintendo loves when people get together in the living room and play games. They're all about being in the same physical space, interacting, and having fun with real human beings. Online is improved with Wii U, but Nintendo is still doing it a little differently. Again, that's fine. I'm digging MiiVerse and any game I've played online so far works really well. Back to the living room thing. With Wii, we could upload a handful of our Mii characters to a Wii Remote and take that to a friends house. I think you might see where I'm going with this. The Gamepad is a little (ok, a lot) too big and fragile to start lugging around to a friends house. Plus you can't sync up more than one. Therefore, I think Nintendo should release what I'll call a Mii Coin. This little coin, preferably shaped like a coin from Mario, but really there could be multiple styles from different franchises (a Rupee from Zelda, a Star Fox inspired military badge, a Metroid inspired lightning bolt coin, a pokeball shaped coin, etc), would store not only you Mii's information, but also profile data from compatible games. I'm inspired by the Wii Fit Meter, which is now always attached to my hip, to think of something small and cheap, that would always be on you and easy to take from one friends house to another, keeping your stats and experience wherever you go.

For an example, I thought of Smash Bros for Wii U. Imagine this. You buy your coin alongside the game. It's $10 - $20 to keep in line other NFC toys (Skylanders/Infinity) and not too expensive to if you lose it you're going to lose sleep over it. You go home, pick your favourite character and start learning moves, customizing your controls to the way you like them, and building your stats. Maybe there's a levelling system in this version, that allows you to unlock new features, characters, or costumes depending on your level. That weekend your friend invites you over for a Smash tournament. You start up the game, click Transfer on the home screen, and tap your Mii Coin on the Gamepad's NFC square, transferring your stats, control preferences, etc over to the the Coin instantly, and you're good to go. When you get to your friends house, fire up the game, hit the transfer button, and the game tells each person to tap their Coins (if they have them). After the tournament, simply reverse the process, collect your stats, and sync back up when you get home. When you transfer your stats, your friend also has the option of saving your Mii character to their system, so they'll see you when they're playing Wii Sports HD, etc.

Obviously this example is just scratching the surface of what this thing could be used for. Custom made characters and stages in games could be brought with you anywhere you go. Profiles in FPS games could be transferred over so two people can play online and you don't have to use "Guest 1's" crappy default load outs. It's a simple idea, but it's something that I think would get people excited about going to a friends house to play games, keep their progress and records, and actually use a pretty cool feature that's literally just sitting there under our thumbs.

What do you think? Can you think of any uses for Mii Coins that maybe I missed completely? Dumb idea, cool idea. I want to know!