Nintendo Amiibo Toys Jump into ‘Super Smash Bros.’ and ‘Mario Kart 8′

Published 11 months ago by

Since the 2011 release of the first Skylanders platform game, hybrid toy/gaming components have become an interesting subgenre in the video game world. The opportunity to get something concrete and physical along with some additional for-pay content is a nice idea, but the mechanic leads to a collectibility aspect that is a major turn-off for some gamers. Despite that concern, the trend has continued this year, not just with the recently announced Marvel expansion to Disney Infinity, but now with a new addition to the world of the Nintendo Wii, as well.

Nintendo announced the brand new line of amiibo toys today during its E3 2013 digital presentation. The figures contain similar technology to those of the Skylanders or Infinity characters and can be scanned by the Wii U’s GamePad in order to drop into games like Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8. The first line of amiibos will be in stores for the 2014 holiday season.

After the amiibos touch the Wii U GamePad and work their magic, the toys appear as avatars in compatible games. In Super Smash Bros. the toys level up as they compete against enemies and win matches. The first lineup of Amiibos will be released alongside the Nintendo brawling game to capitalize on that franchise’s popularity.

Nintendo Amiibo Figures

Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime explained a bit more about how the leveling up works, while he showed how the figures look in action…

“When you touch amiibo to the GamePad, the character’s data is downloaded into the game you’re playing, and it’s also a two-way street… We can send information back to the figure. So in other words, your figure’s data changes as you play, which opens the door for various new gameplay possibilities.

“For example, your own figure with its own unique stats and fighting style, will not only appear, but also evolve as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. on Wii U. In fact, Super Smash Bros. on Wii U will indeed be the first game to support amiibo. In other words, this holiday, we’re not only releasing the game you’ve been waiting for, but also amiibo, that literally gives you new ways to play.

When you use an amiibo in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, that character will appear as a fighter in the game and compete in battles, developing its own unique attributes and skills. You can fight against them yourself, have them square off against other amiibo. They can even join you and fight on the same team.”

Reggie confirmed that another line of amiibos is on the way for Mario Kart 8 and that we can expect to see other series released for use with different Nintendo titles over the next year. There are also plans for a 3DS peripheral that will allow the handheld platform to interact with the amiibos, as well. Price will likely be a major deciding point for gamers when it comes to picking up amiibos, so we are interested to see how much the figures will cost.

Will you be picking up any amiibos or do you think the toy/gaming hybrids are a passing trend? How much would you be willing to pay for one of the amiibos? Let us know in the comments.

Game Rant E3 2014 Live Coverage___

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TAGS: E3 2014, Mario Kart 8, Nintendo, Super Smash Bros., Wii U

  • Daniel Carlson

    yes but what do they do? none of that sounds that great. it sounds like a chip that activates an easter egg already on the game disc.

    • Josh Calkins

      That’s what I believe Skylanders and Infinity do. The only difference here that I can tell is the ability to change what info is held in the toy in some small ways so that the toy is “writable” at some basic level. Still sounds mostly like an artificial barrier to make you buy unlocks. Of course the vast majority of the content is already on the disc, so this is a gimmick aimed at kids who love it and don’t dwell on the implications too much. Me, I’m not especially impressed or interested in the concept for my own entertainment. For my nephew, maybe.

      • Daniel Carlson

        That is exactly what they do. Infinity offers a bit more with each set but they could easily offer it all for the 59.99 price tag. This is a nice idea for kids and collectors but I guess my biggest problem with the game is I want to see nintendo fix their problems and not create a whole new issue. Will this save the wii u? i doubt it.

        • Josh Calkins

          No argument on any of that. Hopefully those tasked with fixing nintendos problems are not the same team working overtime to make gimmicky kid toys integrate with the wii U.

  • cidgrad

    This sounds like a great idea on paper. What a huge plus that the game pad can activate the figures and there is no separate $80 game-plus-peripheral that you need to purchase.

    What I don’t get, though: aren’t all the figures pictured already in Smash Bros? Or were they previously announced and now it’s revealed that you have to buy the figures to unlock them? It will be a huge mistake for Nintendo if they intentionally lock characters like Samus & DK out of something as big as Smash Bros to try and make a few extra bucks on plastic figures.

    On the other hand, this could make something like Mario Kart really fun. Wouldn’t mind buying a (reasonably priced) Samus figure to unlock her as a racer. Or to unlock a playable Mario character in DK Country. As with so many things, it all depends on the execution.

    • Yuurg

      You don’t unlock them, they are only computer controlled opponents you fight against, that apparently learn your tactics and level up to get better. You can still fight against regular computer opponents, and you can still unlock every character in the game.
      At least, that’s what I’ve heard.

      • DHephaestus

        This is exactly what the video stated. The figures learn from fighting against you and will fight to counter your fighting style. I am excited at the thought that they can become really challenging opponents to practice against. I would pay some money for that alone since in the past, even level 9 fighters get dull after a while.

        • Daniel Carlson

          It’s also an easy system to fool. Just change your play style. It’s something I learned from fencing. Expecting someone to use a certain style or perform like the ‘always’ do is a bad mistake and you will lose. Random players are less predictable and can make for interesting gameplay.

          • Josh Calkins