What does the sound of millions of potential dollars being vacuumed up sound like? It probably sounds like Nintendo’s announced amiibo system: their own implementation of the toys-to-games model popularised by Skylanders. Launching with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U in October of this year, the amiibo system utilises miniature figurines of well-known Nintendo characters with embedded tech to interface directly with the Wii U. By placing it on the appropriate position of the Wii U gamepad, players can transfer information between the Wii U system and the figurine.
In the Super Smash Bros. implementation, players will be able to level up their figurine, developing their stats and training them to utilise unique tactics. Players are able to pit their amiibo fighters against each other, train against them, or call them in during a fight for assistance. A platform peripheral will launch later during the year to allow 3DS owners the ability to interact with amiibo characters. In addition, amiibo will be rolled out to a number of other Nintendo properties, such as Mario Kart 8, following its initial launch.
The amiibo system is also promising to be compatible with competing systems such as Skylanders and Disney Infinity. Given the popularity of the genre, this has the potential to be huge for Nintendo. Iwata knows this. He knows.
And I used to smack Ninja Turtle figurines together until one of the limbs broke off. Kids today, man. They just don’t know. There better be some Twilight Princess characters, that’s all I’m saying.
Source: Nintendo’s Digital Event