If there's one thing that seems like a perfect fit for Nintendo's business model, it's Amiibo. Not only does the brand play host to some of the most recognizable faces in gaming history, but merchandising of those iconic characters in the form of figurines has been largely absent. By providing gamers with a means through which to collect physical versions of their favorite characters that they can then use to interact with their game collection, it's no surprise that Nintendo has a hit on their hands.
Originally only available to Wii U owners, use of Nintendo's Amiibo figures has since become available in the handheld circuit with the release of the New Nintendo 3DS (check out our review). To ring in this new functionality for Nintendo handhelds, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS recently received an update that added support for the figures. Further expanding upon the explosive success of these collectibles, Nintendo will soon be bringing Amiibo support to older 3DS models.
According to Nintendo's financial briefing today, 3DS owners who have yet to make the jump to the New 3DS will soon be able to use of their Amiibos on the go. Through the use of an "external NFC reader/writer," Nintendo looks to be ensuring that the bar to entry for Amiibo is as low as possible. Regardless of what modern Nintendo platform a user might own, they will have even more reason to bite the bullet and start their amiibo collection soon enough.
While no release date has been given for North American consumers, the external NFC reader and writer is due out in Japan sometime this spring. Considering the immense success of the Super Smash Bros. Amiibo product line on Western shores, there is little doubt that this peripheral will become available outside of Japan. It's only a matter of when. Until then though, 3DS owners old and new can look forward to the upcoming release of Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. which will feature its own form of Amiibo support.
This news comes following the reveal of three more Amiibo that will likely be joining the Super Mario product line in time for the release of Mario Party 10. Adding to an already impressive Spring 2015 lineup, it's clear that Nintendo is keen to stimulate the growth of their Amiibo initiative. Considering early fears that the figures would simply be a passing fad, it's becoming more and more evident that Amiibo could represent a significant part of Nintendo's foreseeable future. Couple this with the possibility of Nintendo manufacturing more rare Amiibo and it's evident that these little figures are here to stay.
Are you excited to have access to Amiibo support on older 3DS models? Considering the need for an additional peripheral, is this something that you would take on the go?