Nfc  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Nfc  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Unboxing the MaxLander: Skylander data-saving NFC device Sun, 27 Sep 2015 05:33:09 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Being a hardware and gadget person, I got my hands on the MaxLander data saving device and decided to do an unboxing so people can see what the hype is all about.

For those of you who don't know MaxLander, it's made for all Skylanders games on various softwares. It can be used to either download items or characters directly from the internet and use them, or you can save them as a backup if you're traveling and don't want to take them all.

Tons of components for the gadget

The MaxLander comes with a ton of parts that work together to save and download Skylander data. Major parts consist of the cable, token chips, and MaxLander device. Each token has up to a 99 character and item saving capacity. Along with the two tokens, there are two sheets with different types of elements, and two cases for the tokens. 

Seemingly for kids

When looking at the device and using it, I could see this product being specifically used by my three year old nephew - where collecting the physical figures might become a problem. Since the software for the figures and items could be downloaded digitally, he could play all he likes without needing to spend his parent's money for his game.

I would suggest this product for anyone who would like to save money on recreational activities like video games and still get the same enjoyment. All that is really necessary for MaxLander to work is a PC, the Skylanders game disk, and of course, the portal pad. 

It is a bit surprising in the long run that Skylanders hasn't shut down this device and company on a copyright infringement, but only time can tell how they'll respond. 

MaxLander allows you to get data for every Skylander figurine for cheap Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:06:55 -0400 Courtney Gamache

A new NFC reader called MaxLander is changing the way gamers will play Skylanders. Using technology to save Skylander data, a gamer can now access over 300 Skylanders items and characters for free using a simple NFC reader and downloading them onto it. 

The idea behind developing the MaxLander is similar to the developers behind the amiiqo for Nintendo: gamers can access characters without paying for them and also save their data for their own characters. With compact devices, it's a no brainer how useful they can be.

Features of the MaxLander

One of the awesome features of MaxLander is that it supports every version of Skylanders. While the amiiqo works with Android devices, MaxLander is used through a computer on either Windows 7 or Windows 8, and spans across many of the Skylanders gaming platforms: Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3, and PS4.

The basic package of MaxLander is a hefty price of $80, but comes with the all the attachments that are required for downloading and uploading Skylanders, including the limited edition and rare figures. Included in the basic box is:

  • MaxLander data device
  • USB connecting cable
  • Two tokens
  • Two token protection holders
  • Element papers for Skylanders

This could be a great device for a kid who is absolutely crazy about Skylanders since the figures and packs can be very expensive to buy.

The big question for the developers, however: is a copyright infringement on  the Skylanders game and company? We've reached out the Skylanders team and we will be looking for official answers about this device.

review and unboxing along the way

In a few days, I'll personally have my hands on the MaxLander device and plan to write an unboxing article and review on how it works and some of the features they've listed. Look for my upcoming articles about MaxLander and amiiqo that are in progress.

What do you think of the MaxLander device? Do you think this is a cruel infringement on Skylander's products? Could it affect their sales? Share your comments below on this new, possibly IP-infringing NFC device. 

New Nintendo 3DS Happy Home Designer Bundle Mon, 31 Aug 2015 20:57:58 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Nintendo is releasing a brand new version of the New Nintendo 3DS handheld device in the honor of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer releasing this fall.

The adorable white New Nintendo 3DS comes with two cover plates both designed for the new addition in the Animal Crossing series; for the large sum of $219. Featured in the bundle is also the game, and an amiibo card.

What comes in the box

There is a total of four themed items included in the bundle box for the release of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer:

  • White New Nintendo 3DS handheld system
  • Digital copy of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
  • 2 cover plates one featuring Isabella from Animal Crossing and another showing off features in Happy Home Designer
  • amiibo card

On the older model of the 3DS XL, to play Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer an external device called an NFC reader is required for the amiibo cards to be used within the game. Since this bundle features the New Nintendo 3DS, gamers wont have to buy the $20 add-on device. 

The bundle is currently up for pre-order on GameStop and is set to release on September 25th, 2015. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer will also be releasing the same day, and when pre-ordered it comes with a GameStop exclusive poster and the NFC reader required for older model 3DSs. To pre-order that edition, please view the GameStop website, which costs $50.

What do you think of Nintendo's new bundle that's up for pre-order? Are you looking forward to Happy Home Designer? Share your comments below!

What We Know About Amiibo So Far Fri, 13 Jun 2014 17:32:00 -0400 Charner Boney

Skylanders started the video game NFC market. With multiple game releases, Activison paved the way for the toy-based video game. As of February 2014, IGN reports:

"The Skylanders series has crossed the $2 billion in sales threshold, Activision has revealed. With 175 million toys sold since 2011, it makes the series one of the top 20 highest-selling video game franchises of all time."

What are NFC Toys?

Well, what are NFC toys anyways? NFC stands for Near Field Communication. It links two devices together over a very short-range radio wave and allows for data transfer. Although it is slower than bluetooth, it consumes far less power. It has become increasingly popular in cell phones, and recently in video games. Games like Skylanders, Disney Infinity, Pokemon Rumble U, and soon an array of Nintendo titles use this technology.

Nintendo's new line of NFC toys have been named Amiibos. And, as you already may have guessed, these Nintendo figures model Nintendo characters! We've got a decent sized collection being produced so far, and more in the works. 


Amiibo will have their own advantage over current NFC toys. Not only will the game read the figures and transfer data to the game, but the game will transfer data back into the figure, making each persons figure unique. 

(Amiibo are) character figurines designed to connect and interact with compatible games. By holding the Amiibo over your Wii U GamePad, you'll open up new experiences within each corresponding game.

Your Amiibo will store data as you play, making it your very own, one-of-a-kind Amiibo.

What Games are Amiibo Compatible?

Currently there are 5 titles announced to be Amiibo supported. These being: Super Smash Bros for Wii U, Mario Kart 8, Mario Party 10, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and Yoshi's Woolly World. We can all have our speculation as to what the figures will do in each game. I can only hope I can unlock new racers in Mario Kart 8 with these figures, or new fighters in Smash Bros.

What We Know Amiibo Will Do in Super Smash Brothers

In the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U game, you'll be able to scan your Amiibo into the game. You'll then be able to fight against your Amiibo, team up with it in battle or watch it battle other in-game characters. Your Amiibo will be able to increase its attack and defense stats and even learn new fighting tactics.

Your Amiibo fighter in Super Smash Bros will be fully customizable. The 4 (B-button) special attacks you have can be altered. An example shown at E3 was Mario's fireball. You can change it to where it moves in a straight line quickly instead of bouncing, or make it larger but slow moving. Your Amiibo will have these presets saved, and will fight however you customize them.

I'm Sold. How Much of My Money Do You Want?

At launch, there will be around 10 different amiibo figurines available. More will be released during holiday 2014 and throughout 2015. That's exciting for me, but why is Luigi getting the short end of the stick? It was his year last year after all. Seems like Nintendo already forgot about him, like everyone else.

Even better, they aren't too expensive. According to Reggie:

You can expect (Amiibo figures) to be comparable to the Disney and Skylander products that are on the market. [$10 to $15]

And there's no pressure to buy any of them. Nintendo's Bill Trinen didn't say that Amiibo will be necessary for the core gameplay of Super Smash Bros for Wii U. Perhaps there won't be any extra characters to unlock through the new toys. That means we don't have to buy all of them either. Hurray!

Amiibo on the 3DS Too? Yes please!

Nintendo 3DS systems will be compatible with amiibo functionality using a peripheral device, scheduled to launch in 2015. Stay tuned for information on the Nintendo 3DS games that will work with amiibo.

Excited Yet?

Super Smash Bros for Wii U, the first game to support Amiibo, will be available this holiday season. The rest of the announced Amiibo compatible games will be out in 2015. Can't wait to get a few of these Amiibos and display them below my TV. 


*All prototypes*

Amiibo: Nintendo's New Money Maker Tue, 10 Jun 2014 17:22:49 -0400 Charner Boney

Amiibo. Nintendo's new NFC toy line is an interesting concept. Launching alongside Super Smash Bros for Wii U, Amiibo figures are one of Nintendo's new ideas to start making money again. 

Long has Skylanders ruled the NFC toy industry. It's been without competition until Disney's Infinity launched. Now Nintendo is stepping into the competition this holiday season.

The first of the new figures will include Mario, Donkey Kong, Peach, Yoshi, Kirby, Link, Samus, Pikachu, Animal Crossing Villager, and the Wii Fit Trainer. Super Smash Bros for Wii U will be the first of many games to utilize these figures. Soon to follow, Mario Party 10, Mario Kart 8, Yoshi's Wooly World, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker will be compatible with Amiibo.

Data will be sent to the game as well as received by each individual Amiibo, so no two Amiibo figures will be the same. You and your friend could both have Link figures and they would have different stats and move sets.

A peripheral for the 3DS will also launch next year. From the looks of it, it seems as though it will connect wirelessly to the 3DS. 

Is Nintendo too late to the NFC toy game? Can I unlock the Animal Crossing Villager in Mario Kart 8 please? 

Super Smash Bros to Utilize Nintendo NFC Technology on Wii U Thu, 22 May 2014 11:49:53 -0400 S20TEW

Super Smash Bros will reportedly feature Nintendo Figurine Platform support on Wii U. Until now the only game to my knowledge to make use of the NFC technology was Pokémon Rumble U.

Nintendo's upcoming range of interactive toys will work in tandem with the upcoming brawler, according to the company's French managing director Stephan Bole (via Nintendo Life).

"E3 is also an opportunity to show the use of NFC technology in Nintendo consoles," Bole explained. "The NFC will be used in the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros."

Nintendo first mentioned the Skylanders-style platform in its annual financial report, and plans to show more at this year's E3 gaming expo.

Nintendo will launch a number of NFC-enabled figurines to support the software, and will release an NFC reader for the 3DS. Super Smash Bros, meanwhile, will make its 3DS début this summer, before launching on Wii U in winter.

My Thoughts

I think this could help bring the sales of the game and the WiiU platform up among the younger audience if you just look at the success of the Skylanders range.

Another point, which is pretty funny if you have followed Smash Bros from the start on N64, is that the idea was to have your action figures brought to life and fight it out in one big Nintendo cross-over Brawl to the end. 

Innovations That Are Changing the Face of Game Design Thu, 30 Jan 2014 19:23:56 -0500 Amanda Wallace


While not as technologically innovative as some of the others on this list, Twine certainly brings a great deal to the field. With this tech, it's not what it can do it's what people are doing with it. 


Twine is a low-tech game creation engine that allows amateurs and veteran game designers alike to experiment in ways that other engines just don't allow. It is an technology that has creations as diverse as Cry$tal Warrior Ke$ha and Crumbchin's Quest.


Why is that changing the face of game design? In a sense, it's a democratization of the medium. Anyone with a computer can run Twine, and the engine and most of the games made for it are free. Minority opinions flourish on Twine, and it's an engine that is only growing in scope and community.


What technologies are redefining game design for you? 


The Oculus Rift and related virtual reality technology have been getting a lot of press lately for their ability to help create a truly immersive experience. Most recently Valve VR has been getting positive press after the Witness developer Jonathan Blow gave his support for the burgeoning tech


While the technology is still rough in some respects  (personally, it gives me motion sickness), it still has a lot of great potential. Exploration games like Gone Home where you can actually explore? Alongside peripherals like the Omni Treadmill, you could turn the world of Skyrim into your own personal running course: 



Devices like the Oculus Rift are demonstrating that VR is not just a fad, and can go past the level of gimmick. 


Earlier today Richard Welchel wrote an article about Google Glasses demonstrated abilities for gaming, and while they are fairly rudimentary now there's a real possibility for innovation with Google Glass and gaming. 


Augmented reality games, where the gameplay takes place superimposed on the world or extensions of games like Project Niantic are definitely promising opportunities for game designers. 


What, you might be asking yourself, is an NFC chip? 


An acronym for the term Near Field Communicator, NFC's are devices that can transfer data to each other while in close proximity. If you have to scan a card to get into a place at work, chances are that is an NFC chip. They're being utilized for a variety of business applications, from coupon codes to Google Wallet, to the above pictured Moo business card.


Oh, and it's also in Skylanders, the insanely popular game that preteen children are obsessed with.


What could this technology do for the future? There are a couple of obvious applications, from a more adult Skylanders/Disney Infinity style game, to a large scale ARG (something like I Love Bees), but there's no telling what designers will be able to develop now that the technology is relatively inexpensive. 


Game design is an emergent field, where new technology is almost always defining the next generation of games. What we play is as important as how we play, and game designers are looking towards future innovations to create new experiences for players. 


So what tech could be redefining the games you play?