It’s hard to believe that it has been almost 13 years since Nintendo first launched the e-Reader peripheral for Game Boy Advance. Originally conceived as a device that would allow users to scan collectable cards in order to access mini-games and in-game items, it was discontinued in 2008. Fast-forward to 2015 and Nintendo is preparing to kick off the launch of amiibo cards with Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer.

Announced as part of the latest Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo will be putting a great amount of effort into pushing their amiibo line of products over the next year. One of the most interesting of these NFC-based developments is the introduction of amiibo cards. Originally revealed as a means of dealing with high demand for some of the rarer amiibo figures, amiibo cards will play a central role in the new Animal Crossing game for 3DS.

Paring away the daily chores and landscaping that have become an integral part of the Animal Crossing series, Happy Home Designer – as the name suggests – focuses on the joys of interior design. Players will find themselves tasked with decorating custom rooms that meet the specifications put in place by the series’ colorful cast of characters. Do they want their room to be a bookworm’s haven? Would they like a sports-themed den?

Players take on these duties by scanning Animal Crossing amiibo cards. Each card will feature a familiar face from the series and allow access to that animal’s furnishing quandary. Once a task has been completed and the animal is pleased with the result, subsequent cards can be scanned to invite other animals over to populate the newly-designed space.

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer Amiibo Cards Decorating

While the New 3DS (check out our review) provides built-in amiibo support, older versions of Nintendo’s current handheld will also be getting the chance to join the amiibo craze with the release of an external NFC reader/writer. Since amiibo cards will be an important part of the Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer experience, Nintendo has revealed that the new peripheral will launch alongside the game and its associated amiibo cards later this fall.

Considering the incredible demand for new sets of amiibo as they release, the option of card-based collectables is a smart move on Nintendo’s part. Not only does it allow them to draw parallels to their humble beginnings, but it adds yet another medium for fans to develop collections in. There’s every chance that these cards could end up going the way of the e-Reader as time goes on, but if Nintendo can manage to merge amiibo cards with the Pokemon trading card game, they might very well find a way to increase the already astronomical demand for their latest success.

Are you interested in getting a different perspective on the established Animal Crossing series? What would you like to see Nintendo do with amiibo cards in the future?

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer launches fall 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS alongside an NFC reader/writer peripheral for older generations of the handheld.