Amiibo

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Amiibo
Amiibo.svg
The Amiibo logo
International standard Near field communication
Developed by Nintendo
Introduced June 10, 2014 (2014-06-10)
Industry Video game
Connector type Wireless
Compatible hardware
Physical range < 20 cm (7.9 in)

Amiibo (Japanese: アミーボ Hepburn: Amībo?, stylized as amiibo) is Nintendo's wireless communications and storage protocol, for use between compatible toys and the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U gaming platforms. It was launched in November 2014 in the form of system software updates and a series of Amiibo-enabled figurines, colloquially abbreviated as "amiibo figurines" or simply "amiibo". These figurines are similar in form and functionality to that of the Skylanders, Disney Infinity series, and Telepods series. The platform was preannounced to potentially accommodate any form of toy, specifically including general plans for future card games.[1][2] These toys use near field communication (NFC) to interact with supported video game software, potentially allowing data to be transferred in and out of games and across multiple platforms.

Amiibo toys can be used directly with the Wii U GamePad and New Nintendo 3DS series, with an adapter for the rest of the Nintendo 3DS series to be released on September 25, 2015 along with the Nintendo 3DS game Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. As of March 31, 2015, 10.5 million Amiibo have been sold.[3][4]

History[edit]

Development[edit]

Pre-release promotional image showing a group of Amiibo figures for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

Toys for Bob and its parent company Activision had offered an opportunity for Nintendo to be a partner in a new video game franchise known as Skylanders, which would use RFID-equipped character figurines and a special reader component to interact with the game itself, and could store data on the figurine itself such as the corresponding character's statistics. While Nintendo passed on the exclusivity deal, the franchise itself quickly became one of Activison's most successful franchises upon its launch as a spin-off of the Spyro the Dragon series, and also resulted in competition from Disney Interactive Studios, who would release a game with a similar concept known as Disney Infinity in 2013.[5][6]

In March 2013, long predating Amiibo, Nintendo unveiled Pokémon Rumble U, the first game for the Wii U to utilize the Wii U GamePad's near-field communications support to enable the use of its own interactive figurines.[7] During an investors' meeting in May 2014, Nintendo presented a prototype of a more comprehensive figurine platform for its 3DS and Wii U consoles, which was designed so that the figurines could be used across multiple games. The new system was codenamed NFP, standing for either "Nintendo Figurine Platform" or "NFC Featured Platform", and was slated to be officially unveiled during E3.[8] On June 10, 2014 during its E3 presentation, Nintendo officially announced Amiibo, and that Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U would be among the first games to provide features integrating with Amiibo figures.[9]

In a corporate policy event after the launch of the Amiibo platform, Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto addressed the platform's future by stating that the company is "now moving forward with projects that make use of NFC in a variety of unique ways. Nintendo is known as a video game company, but in fact, it is also a toy company."[1][2]

Release[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Amiibo compatible figurines were first released in North America on November 21, 2014, in Europe on November 28, 2014, and in Japan on December 6, 2014, along with the release of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.[10][11][12][12]

The Super Mario series, featuring Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, and Toad, arrived on March 20, 2015 for both regions.[13]

In 2015, Nintendo began to extend the Amiibo line into new form factors; on February 27, 2015, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata revealed that the company had plans to release Amiibo-enabled trading cards. On April 1, 2015, Nintendo unveiled Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, a spin-off in the Animal Crossing series that will utilize Amiibo cards. Nintendo also unveiled Amiibo yarn plushies as a tie-in for Yoshi's Woolly World.[14][15][16]

During the E3 2015 Nintendo Direct on June 16, 2015, Activision revealed Bowser and Donkey Kong figures and vehicles for use in Skylanders: SuperChargers. The figures will be able to function as both Skylanders figures and as Amiibo by means of a switch on the base. They will work across platforms in Skylanders: SuperChargers, but will be exclusively bundled with starter sets for the game on Nintendo platforms.[17][18]

Hardware support[edit]

The Wii U and New Nintendo 3DS both contain native NFC support, and can be used with Amiibo products. On Wii U, Amiibo are scanned using an NFC reader contained within the Wii U GamePad. Firmware updates for the consoles that were released in November and December 2014 respectively added an Amiibo menu to their system settings areas, allowing users to scan, register, and erase data from Amiibo toys.[19][20][21][22] A separate NFC reader accessory will be released to allow use of Amiibo on the original Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL, and 2DS models; in Japan, it will be released in "Summer 2015", and will be released alongside Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer in North America.[23]

Collectibility and supply issues[edit]

Amiibo quickly became a greatly desired product, with preorders selling out before the product became avaliable to the public. While Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata stated that Amiibo will be kept in stock, he also explained that some will be "limited-time offers which will cede their positions to new ones once they are sold out".[24] The rarity of certain Amiibo influenced the prices held by online retailers and auctions, of which most can be seen offering select Amiibo at prices above the retail price. In Nintendo's 3rd Quarter Financial Results Briefing for the Fiscal Year Ending March 2015, Satoru Iwata stated that he was aware of such online auctions that offered "premium prices" of sold out Amiibo, and expressed surprise at these actions.[25] A number of first-wave Amiibo figures with manufacturing defects were discovered and sold for notably high prices, such as a Samus figurine that had cannons on both arms instead of one being sold on eBay for US$2,500, while a defect of Princess Peach with missing legs was sold for US$25,100.[26][27][28]

On April 2, 2015, when preorders were being taken for the May 29th release of the Super Smash Bros. series Wave 4 and the Splatoon series, the US preorder process crashed both GameStop's website and in-store register system.[29] Nintendo acknowledged these issues in early May 2015.[30][31] Amazon forewent the entire preorder process for those waves; it instead blocked out specific time intervals on their release date during which the non-retailer exclusive figures and the Super Mario series Silver Mario figure were available.[32]

In response to the lack of certain Amiibo in the United States, Satoru Iwata explained in a Q & A on February 17 that "an ongoing labor dispute on the west coast" has delayed the "discharge of cargo over the past six months", and is the cause of the absences of certain Amiibo intended to be delivered before its launch in November.[33] Following this announcement, rarer amiibo (e.g., Wii Fit Trainer, Meta Knight, Ike, etc.) have been receiving limited re-releases in North America.[34][35][citation needed]

Supported games[edit]

Supported games offer one of two kinds of Amiibo compatibility; the ability to access an Amiibo toy's NFC tag and store data, and read-only recognition. Each Amiibo toy largely corresponds to a specific game that can access its storage space, though some may have multiple games that can use it. However, each Amiibo toy can only store data from one compatible game at a time, meaning data must be deleted from the toy in order to use it with a different title. For example, the Mario figurines from both the Super Smash Bros. and Super Mario series are compatible with both Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Mario Party 10, but can only hold data for one of these titles.[36] Many games offer compatibility with specific toys on a read-only basis, allowing for additional content to be unlocked in that game. For example, using certain figurines with Mario Kart 8 unlocks costumes based on the corresponding figurine.[37] Existing Wii U and 3DS games can receive updates that enable them to recognize Amiibo toys.[38] Due to their co-development effort on Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, Bandai Namco Games were the first third-party publishers to embrace the Amiibo concept in some of their own games.[39]

Super Smash Bros. Amiibo figures can be used in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U to spawn computer-controlled characters to fight either alongside a player-controlled character, or against other CPU, player-controlled, or Amiibo-generated characters. With continued use, the Amiibo's corresponding character is able to level up and learn new abilities.[6][40] Super Mario series figurines, as well as their Smash Bros. counterparts, can be used in Mario Party 10 to store items that can be brought into the game.

Wii U[edit]

Nintendo 3DS[edit]

List of Amiibo-branded NFC items[edit]

The following list features all known NFC items branded under Amiibo, all produced in the form of plastic character figurines as of May 2015, but will later appear in other forms, such as soft toys and cards. Nintendo designed all Amiibo characters to be cross-compatible with all games that support specific Amiibo characters, regardless of whichever model line these characters belong to; for example, Mario figurines from both the Super Smash Bros. and Super Mario series have the same functionality. According to Shinya Takahashi of Nintendo's SPD division, the Super Smash Bros. line, being released in waves since November 21, 2014, is planned to cumulatively feature at least 50 Amiibo models, one for each of the game's playable characters.[54] The Super Mario line was released on March 20, 2015 along with Mario Party 10, featuring 6 Amiibo models. In the April 2015 Nintendo Direct presentation, it was revealed that, in addition to Super Smash Bros. DLC characters having their own Amiibo figurines, Splatoon and Yoshi's Woolly World will come with their own lines, in which the latter's line will be soft dolls instead of hard plastic figures. The same Direct also revealed the upcoming Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer will support Amiibo-branded NFC cards rather than figures at all.

Amiibo and games with assorted support
Character Amiibo series[55] Super Smash Bros.
for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
Mario Kart 8 Mario Party 10 Yoshi's Woolly World[56] Super Mario Maker Ace Combat:
Assault Horizon Legacy +
One Piece:
Super Grand Battle! X
Cyrus Animal Crossing No No Read Only No ? No No
Digby Animal Crossing No No Read Only No ? No No
Isabelle Animal Crossing No No Read Only No Read Only[57] No No
K.K. Slider Animal Crossing No No Read Only No ? No No
Lottie Animal Crossing No No Read Only No ? No No
Mabel Animal Crossing No No Read Only No ? No No
Reese Animal Crossing No No Read Only No ? No No
Tom Nook Animal Crossing No No Read Only No ? No No
Animal Crossing Amiibo cards (Series 1)[58] Animal Crossing Amiibo cards (Series 1) No No Read Only ? ? No No
Chibi-Robo[52] Chibi-Robo! No No Read Only No ? No No
Hammer Slam Bowser[a] Skylanders SuperChargers Yes Read Only Yes Read Only ? Read Only No
Turbo Charge Donkey Kong[a] Skylanders SuperChargers Yes Read Only Yes Read Only ? Read Only Read Only
Inkling Boy Splatoon No No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Inkling Girl Splatoon No No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Inkling Squid[b] Splatoon No No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Bowser Super Mario Yes Read Only Yes Read Only ? Read Only No
Luigi Super Mario Yes Read Only Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only Read Only
Mario[c] Super Mario Yes Read Only Yes Read Only ? Read Only Read Only
Peach Super Mario Yes Read Only Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only No
Toad Super Mario No Read Only Yes Read Only ? No No
Yoshi Super Mario Yes Read Only Yes Read Only Read Only[57] No Read Only
8-bit Mario[d] Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary Yes Read Only Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only Read Only
Bowser Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Yes Read Only ? Read Only No
Bowser Jr. Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Charizard Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Captain Falcon Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only ? Read Only No
Dark Pit Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Diddy Kong Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Donkey Kong Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Yes Read Only ? Read Only Read Only
Dr. Mario Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Yes Read Only ? Read Only No
Duck Hunt Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only No ? No No
Falco Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only No ? No No
Fox Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only ? Read Only Read Only
Ganondorf Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Greninja Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Ike Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Jigglypuff Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
King Dedede Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Kirby Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only Read Only[59] No Read Only
Link Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only Read Only Read Only Read Only
Little Mac Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Lucario Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Lucas[60] Super Smash Bros. Yes ? Read Only ? ? ? ?
Lucina Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Luigi Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only Read Only
Mario Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Yes Read Only ? Read Only Read Only
Marth Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only Read Only No Read Only
Mega Man Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only ? No No
Meta Knight Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Mewtwo[60] Super Smash Bros. Yes ? Read Only ? ? ? ?
Mii Brawler Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only No ? No No
Mii Gunner Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only No ? No No
Mii Swordfighter Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only No ? No No
Mr. Game & Watch[e][61] Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only No ? No No
Ness Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Pac-Man Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only ? Read Only No
Palutena Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Peach Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only No
Pit Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Pikachu Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Pikmin & Olimar Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only ? Read Only No
R.O.B.[f][62][63] Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only No ? No No
Robin Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Rosalina and Luma Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Yes Read Only ? No No
Roy[64] Super Smash Bros. Yes ? Read Only ? ? ? ?
Ryu[64] Super Smash Bros. Yes ? Read Only ? ? ? ?
Samus Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only ? Read Only Read Only
Sheik Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? Read Only No
Shulk Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? No No
Sonic Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only ? No No
Toon Link Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only ? Read Only Read Only
Villager Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Read Only Read Only ? No No
Wario Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Yes Read Only ? No No
Wii Fit Trainer Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only Read Only No Read Only
Yoshi Super Smash Bros. Yes Read Only Yes Read Only Read Only[57] No Read Only
Zelda Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? Read Only No
Zero Suit Samus Super Smash Bros. Yes No Read Only Read Only ? Read Only No
Yarn Yoshi[g] Yoshi's Woolly World Yes Read Only Yes Yes Read Only[57] No No
Games with universal Amiibo support (read only)
Games with series specific Amiibo support
Supported game Compatible Amiibo (read only) Series
Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
[65]
Animal Crossing
Unconfirmed[h]
Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash
  • Chibi-Robo[52] (read/write)
Chibi-Robo!
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Fire Emblem
Fire Emblem Fates
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
  • King Dedede
  • Kirby
  • Meta Knight
Kirby
Splatoon
  • Inkling Boy
  • Inkling Girl
  • Inkling Squid
Splatoon
Star Fox Zero Star Fox
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D
  • Shulk
Xenoblade Chronicles
  1. ^ a b These figures feature an interchangeable base, allowing them to function as both Amiibo figures and Skylanders figures. Skylanders functionality is currently limited to the Wii U version of Skylanders SuperChargers.
  2. ^ Exclusively available in a 3-pack containing all three Inkling Amiibo in North America and Australia, and in the Splatoon Special Edition bundle containing the game and the Inkling Squid Amiibo in Europe.
  3. ^ Exclusively available in the Mario Party 10 + Mario amiibo bundle at launch. Also available in Gold and Silver edition (North America and Australia only).
  4. ^ Available in classic and modern colors.
  5. ^ Due to its flat 2D appearance, this Amiibo comes with four switchable poses.
  6. ^ In Japan, R.O.B. is based on the Famicom color scheme, while in other regions it is based on the NES color scheme.
  7. ^ Available in green, light blue and pink. Unlike other Amiibo, these are made of actual yarn.
  8. ^ The Amiibo cards for these characters have not officially been confirmed yet.

List of Animal Crossing Amiibo cards[edit]

The following is a list of all confirmed Animal Crossing Amiibo cards.[65][69] Series 1 and 2 consist of 100 cards each.

Exclusives[edit]

In North America, Australia, and New Zealand, some Amiibo are only available in selected retailers.[70][71]

Retailer Exclusive Amiibo in North America, Australia, and New Zealand
Exclusive Amiibo U.S. Retailer Canadian Retailer Mexican Retailer Australian Retailer New Zealand Retailer
Lucario
  • Not exclusive
  • Not exclusive
Meta Knight
  • Not exclusive
  • Not exclusive
Shulk
  • Not exclusive
  • Not exclusive
Rosalina
  • Not exclusive
  • Not exclusive
  • Not exclusive
Mario (Gold Edition)
  • Not exclusive
Ness
  • Mix-Up
  • Not exclusive
  • Not exclusive
Jigglypuff
  • Not exclusive
  • Not exclusive
Greninja
  • Not exclusive
  • Not exclusive
Mario (Silver Edition)
  • Not exclusive
  • Not exclusive
  • Not exclusive
Dark Pit
  • Not exclusive
  • Not exclusive
  • Not exclusive
  • Not exclusive

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]