Nintendo may be a little late to the “Toys to Life” gaming category with Pokemon Rumble U for Wii U, but they’re doing so with a feature that neither Activision or Disney Interactive offer and are unlikely to ever offer.
As a new trailer for Pokemon Rumble U released this morning as part of Nintendo Direct reveals, the 18 Pokemon toy figures that can interact with the game are completely optional to the gameplay experience. In other words, all 649 Pokemon in the game that cover every Pokemon to appear in a game from inception through Pokemon Black Version 2 and Pokemon White Version 2 for 3DS can be played without the need for an NFC figure. It just so happens that the 18 NFC figures available for the game can be linked to their in-game counterpart.
The Wii U GamePad was built with NFC technology that gives it the same capability as a Skylanders Portal of Power or Disney Infinity Base. We didn’t know exactly how that feature would work until now, as evidenced by the little rectangle on the left portion of the Wii U Pad being used to “teleport” the toys into the game.
The Pokemon Rumble U figures will be sold exclusively at GameStop for $3.99 a pop beginning August 29. They are being offered online at GameStop as a blind buy purchase, so I’d recommend heading into the store on launch day to grab the ones you want.
Nintendo is offering Pokemon Rumble U exclusively via the Nintendo eShop on August 29. You won’t be able to buy it in stores.