Nintendo expands its playbook with new Amiibo figures – Beta Wired

Taking a page from similar products from Activision and Disney, Nintendo has expanded its merchandising by creating its new Amiibo line of figurines designed to interact with its Wii U console.

Erstwhile video game industry leader Nintendo, once a powerhouse of the industry, has fallen on hard times as of late. Its Wii U console, while offering a solid gameplay experience, has little market penetration in comparison to its competitors from Sony and Microsoft; while Nintendo’s new Super Smash Bros. title for the Wii U will surely revitalize the moribund console gaming company, it’s also hedging its bets by releasing the new Amiibo line of figurines.

With popular characters like Mario, Link and Samus Aran from the Super Mario, Legend of Zelda and Metroid franchises respectively, Amiibo toys are little figurines that are more than just that – they feature interactivity when placed in close proximity with the console, unlocking new functionality in select Nintendo games. The new hybrid physical-to-digital toy market has exploded over the last few years with collectible toy games like Activision’s Skylanders and Disney Interactive’s Infinity titles, both of which feature characters from their respective IPs that are sold separately and that players can interact with by placing a digital copy of the character in the game for players to control – and Nintendo wants a piece of the action.

The new move from the venerable game company may meet with some serious success, as many of the Nintendo characters are highly recognizable across multi-generational lines. Consumers that grew up alongside older Nintendo consoles like the NES and SNES in the 1980s and 1990s may feel a nostalgia-driven desire to collect and interact with the Amiibo figurines, while children born to these first-generation console gamers may find a way to bond with their parents over the new functionality in the Wii U titles they’re accustomed to.

The only catch, industry experts say, is exclusivity. Unlike Skylanders and Infinity, Amiibo will not feature multi-platform releases; with the Amiibo system only available to Wii U owners, this leaves out anyone who owns consoles from Nintendo’s rivals.

Nintendo expands its playbook with new Amiibo figures – Beta Wired

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *