Disney Infinity Preview: Why Disney Could Be Using RFID

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January 21, 2013 by karynwolo

Disney Infinity_1Early last week, Disney Interactive announced Disney Infinity, which is by far their most ambitious Disney video game undertaking to date. Disney Infinity is also every parent’s nightmare. It’s more than a game: it’s an interactive experience (think Skylanders) complete with collectible figurines. It is going to be a completely addictive money pit that will likely send many families into financial ruin. Just kidding?

I’m going to try to explain the gameplay as simply as possible. Disney Infinity can support two players locally with up to four players online. Play with either virtual characters or add a character to the game by placing a physical figurine on the Disney Infinity Base. There are two main game modes: Play Set and Toy Box. Play Sets are 4-6 hour standalone games that have story lines and objectives.

Disney Infinity Toys_1It is through playing Play Set mode that you can unlock new items for Toy Box mode, which allows you to create your own worlds similar to Little Big Planet or Minecraft. Now, for the rub: you can’t mix characters and worlds in Play Set mode. Buzz Lightyear isn’t going to be sailing the seven seas with Captain Jack Sparrow anytime soon. However, all bets are off in Toy Box mode, where you can mix characters with reckless abandon.

Disney Infinity Power DiscsAside from the figurines, there are also power discs, which you can buy in blind packs. Power discs can be placed under characters on the Disney Infinity Base in order to enhance their abilities.

Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities for Disney Infinity figurines.  Obviously, you have all the Pixar characters to choose from, as well as all your favorites from the classic cartoon films like Peter Pan and Aladdin. But what probably doesn’t immediately jump to mind is that Disney owns Star Wars, Marvel, and The Muppets (among other holdings). I’ll just let that sink in for a minute.

Another thing, Disney is spending $1 billion to bring RFID (Radio-frequency Identification) to their parks in order to create a more interactive experience for guests. If anyone is wondering why Disney could be using RFID, there is a very big chance that Disney Infinity is the reason.

Disneyland RFID and Disney Infinity ToysGuess what technology is used in the Disney Infinity power discs? That’s right: RFID chips. It’s only a matter of time before kids will be able to bring their figurines to the parks in order to obtain exclusive content, and I’m guessing there’s a near 100% chance that the parks will also sell special figurines that will be unavailable in toy stores. See how everything comes full circle?

There still is a chance that this could be Disney’s biggest bust ever!  There’s no guarantee that this will be a success. Let me also point you to Skylanders, which outsold all other action figure lines last year and has racked up $500 million in sales since it’s launch in 2011. This model has already been proven, and now it’s being reworked by a company with one of the most rabid fanbases out there. Look at how crazy people go over those stupid pins they sell at the Disney parks. A few months ago, a “Reveal Conceal Rapunzel” pin sold for $1,826.00 on eBay.  Need I say more?

The release date for Disney Infinity is June 28th for the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, WiiU, PC, iOS, and Nintendo 3DS.

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