Update: Ubisoft has confirmed that Rayman Legends is currently in development in Montpellier, with series creator Michel Ancel taking the helm.
A statement responding to the leak of the trailer says: “An internal video showing images of Rayman Origins’ sequel has leaked over the Internet. This video was intended as a purely internal demonstrative video, and in NO way represents the final game, the final console, or their features. This video was destined for internal production teams who often create game prototypes with work in progress development kits.”
A trailer for the previously unannounced game Rayman Legends has leaked, demonstrating use of the Wii U’s tablet-like controller, and showing how real world objects can be linked with games on Nintendo’s upcoming console.
Activision’s successful kids’ title Skylanders has already demonstrated the potential for selling toys that interact directly with video games. Nintendo’s decision to build near field communication (NFC) technology into the tablet-like controller of the Wii U looks set to expand that market further, when the console launches in the Fall.
NFC technology allows devices to communicate simply by touching them together, or bringing them in close proximity, with connection being established in less than 100 milliseconds. NFC chips can be embedded in cards, stickers, figures, or virtually any other real world object.
The Rayman Legends trailer shows a toy heart being placed on the Wii U controller, which sends hearts raining down in the game. A toy Rabbid — from the Rayman: Raving Rabbids spin-off series — is then used, replacing enemies in the levels with Rabbids. Finally a figure of Ezio, from the game Assassin’s Creed, is teased, but this is not shown interacting with the game, and it may just be a joke by the developer.
The new Rayman title certainly looks as visually stunning as its predecessor, Rayman Origins. Along with its good looks and interesting tech, it will apparently be offering various multiplayer and social features, including races, challenges, and mini-games.
The touchscreen on the Wii U controller is shown being used to manipulate platforms in the game, while three characters are controlled via regular Wii controllers. It is also shown being used as a regular controller, in a two player game.
Speaking about the implementation of NFC technology back in January, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said: “By installing this functionality, it will become possible to create cards and figurines that can electronically read and write data via non-contact NFC and to expand the new play format in the video game world.”
Iwata also pointed to the potential of NFC tech for making instant purchases via the Wii U: “Adoption of this functionality will enable various other possibilities such as using it as a means of making micropayments.”
Whether it makes a bigger mark as a payment method, or by bolstering the sales of accessories, NFC tech looks set to be a key feature for Wii U. Given third-party use as strong as that seen here, one can only imagine what the future holds for the Pokemon franchise.
The leaked Rayman Legends trailer has now been removed from YouTube, but images from it are presented in the gallery below. The video is still being hosted at French website Gamekult at the time of writing.