E3′s still over a month off and Nintendo’s ship already has leaks: A Wii U trailer for Rayman Legends is circulating, packed with footage of gamers playing the beautiful-looking platformer on Nintendo’s forthcoming Wii followup.
The game itself is lovely to watch, filled with high-def Rayman-style hijinks, but the part you’re looking for takes place around the video’s one minute mark, after “Wii U Exclusive Content” flashes onscreen. The video then shows four people playing with four separate Wii U tablet-controllers, using the touchscreen to elevate platforms and…it’s not clear exactly what’s going on during that middle sequence where the player’s hands don’t appear to be doing anything. But so far, so Nintendo DS for big screen TVs.
At the 1:20 mark, however, something unexpected occurs: One of two frustrated co-op players picks up a tiny heart-shaped object from a nearby table — a physical real-world object, that is — and sets it on her partner’s Wii U controller touchscreen. The controller recognizes the object, possibly via NFC (near field communication), and triggers an in-game health bonus. Nifty!
A few seconds later, around the 1:40 mark, the camera pans across several action figures resting beside a Wii U controller (an Assassin’s Creed figure, a “rabbid” from Rayman Raving Rabbids, a third object I can’t make out). The player picks up the “rabbid” action figure and deposits it, standing, on the Wii U controller’s touchscreen, which then “imports” it. As the video closes, he reaches for the Assassin’s Creed doll-statue, and…fade to black.
Augmented reality gimmick or something more? It’s not clear how much latitude we’ll have to “import” stuff, and if it amounts to paying extra for plush toys and action figures that add an “edge,” I’m not sure it’ll go over well. In any event, it’s another arrow in Nintendo’s “unlike anyone or anything else” design quiver.