Nintendo has begun to follow suit with the popular video game/toy hybrid trend with the announcement of their new line of technology, Amiibo. Amiibo is a series of vinyl figures representing some of Nintendo’s most famous characters that are used to transport said characters into a video game to use as a playable avatar a la Skylanders or Disney Infinity.
The first series of Amiibo include twelve classic Nintendo icons. The complete cast is composed of Mario, Princess Peach, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Samus, Link, The Villager from Animal Crossing, Fox McCloud, Kirby, Marth, Pikachu and the Wii Fit Instructor. Developers at Nintendo have stated many more Amiibo figures are to come in waves within the near future, but the gaming franchise is sticking to these twelve core characters at launch.
Amiibo is very similar to the aforementioned games, Skylanders and Disney Infinity, but only by way of using toys to transport characters. All three titles are vastly different in their gameplay. Skylanders and Infinity are partial to their own gaming titles while the Amiibo figures are compatible with multiple games. Nintendo has announced a few of the upcoming titles that Amiibo works in syncopation with and the roster includes the likes of the highly anticipated Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8, Mario Party 10, Yoshi’s Woolly World and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker all playable on the Wii U console.
Nintendo has also announced that they are developing a device called a “peripheral” which allows for Amiibo compatibility with 3DS games. The process of connecting the Amiibo with a gaming console is different from that of Skylanders and Infinity as well. The previous two video game/toy hybrids required a base of sorts that the designated figurines would be placed upon to enter the game. Amiibo is simply used by placing the figure on the Wii U gamepad and the console can connect to the microchip that is inside the figure. The “peripheral” device will serve in place of the Wii U gamepad when using Amiibo with the 3DS.
Developers at Nintendo have stated that no two Amiibo figures will be alike. Even though there will be multiple copies of each character, every single figure will remain original in its own light. With the microchip placed inside, players will be able to customize their character’s skills and features to their liking. As the Amiibo figure is played and leveled up throughout the various Nintendo titles, it develops its own identity that is partial to the player controlling it.
Each Amiibo character will sell for roughly $13 each, a fair price as Infinity and Skylanders can range from $8-$15 a figure. Nintendo has also made each figure available for pre-ordering so die-hard Nintendo fan can be sure to grab one of the first figures released when the Amiibo drops this winter. The original twelve figures will be released on December 31, 2014.
As Nintendo follows suit with the video game/toy hybrid, followers of the long-time successful gaming company remain eager to see how Amiibo lives up to the expectation it has presented for itself. View the announcement trailer for Amiibo below.
By Cody Collier