HYBRIDEX

A Research Project on Hybrid Experiences


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Nintendo Amiibo

amiibo_img02_E3Amiibo is a line of RFID-equipped toys to be used with Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS consoles. The toys can be scanned by supported Nintendo games and each toy typically yields some kind of special functionalities for the matching character in the game.

Amiibo toys – officially “amiibo”, with lower case – are equipped with RFID sensors placed in the base of the toy, and can be read by the NFC reader within the Wii U gamepad and New Nintendo 3DS. The toy line consists of popular Nintendo characters such as Mario, Link and Donkey Kong while also introducing lesser known characters such as Marth from the Fire Emblem series and King Dedede from the Kirby series. The toys are compatible with various Nintendo games and open different kinds of functionalities in each game. The latest Super Smash Bros games (Wii U, 3DS, 2014), for example, allow the user to level up corresponding in-game characters, teach them new abilities and save their progress in the figurines. In Hyrule Warriors (2014) a Link figurine can be used to unlock special items. In Mario Kart 8, figurines are used to unlock additional outfits for player’s Mii characters. Like Nintendo’s earlier RFID toys, the Pokémon Rumble U toy line, the Amiibo toys draw direct comparisons to similar “toys-to-life” games, such as Disney Infinity and Skylanders.

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Nintendo 3DS SpotPass and StreetPass

Nintendo StreetPass and SpotPassStreetPass is an “always on” background connectivity system for Nintendo 3DS. It allows 3DS to seek and connect to wireless network nodes on the background, for example when strolling through town, enabling data exchange for games and other features.

Nintendo 3DS features an “always on” background connectivity system, SpotPass, which can automatically seek and connect to wireless network nodes such as Wi-Fi hotspots, sending and downloading information in the background while in sleep mode or while playing a game. Further, using the console’s background connectivity, a Nintendo 3DS in StreetPass Mode can automatically discover other 3DS units within range, establish a connection, and exchange content for mutually played games, all transparently and without requiring any user input, even when the console is dormant. Thus a monster collecting game might reward users with additional monsters for passing somebody with a new monster.

“Swapnote” feature allows users to send 3D pictures, sound, and scribbled messages to registered friends via either StreetPass or SpotPass. Also, certain hotspots send a channel called “Nintendo Zone” featuring game trailers, game screenshots, and information on games.