The long-promoted Skylanders-type game featuring popular properties such as Monsters University and Cars, Disney Infinity, launched today in North America for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and PC. Disney is banking hard on kids demanding all of the many add-ons and accessories needed for the full play experience. Like Skylanders, Disney Infinity characters are bought at retail in packs and plugged into the game via a NFC interface. The catch, of course, is that these characters, packs, and accessories are not exactly cheap. Kotaku has done the math and figured out how much it'll cost to buy into the launch packs of Disney Infinity. Hint: a lot.
I'm using GameStop prices her, since they generally stick to MSRB as far as games go, unless they're used. they've got the starter pack at $74.99. That's the bare minimum you can spend.
Do you have more than one child? Do you want to play the adventure playsets in co-op mode? Since only characters of the corresponding property can exist in an adventure playset, you'll need at least one other figure from each of the game's three starting worlds.
That means you'll need either the Sidekicks Pack or the Villains Pack. Retailing for $29.99, these packs contain three villains or additional heroes from each of the three starting worlds — Davy Jones, Syndrome and Randall Boggs, or Barbossa, Mrs. Incredible and Mike Wozowski.
Assuming you only need one version of the game, we're up to $104.98.
The running total goes on and on across more packs and the Power Pack discs which add more options to the game. All totaled, you'll need to $252.90 at a minimum to truly get started with Disney Infinity. Be sure to read the full article to see just how quickly the costs add up. Once upon a time, buying a game would entitle players to the full experience. Then came downloadable content and expansion packs. These things add to the game, but they're not required. Now we're into an era where buying a game is just the launch pad; players need more and more little plastic trinkets to actually get something out of the product. Y'know, it occurs to me that Disney has taken inspiration from an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Watch this clip from Episode 421, Monster A Go-Go, to see Dr. Clayton Forrester and TV's Frank unveil their latest invention: Johnny Longtorso, the action figure who himself is sold separately.
I don't know when the NFC toy/game bubble is going to burst, but at this rate, it'll be messy (and expensive!) when it does.