Nintendo Amiibo figures

Coming off three years of losses and facing two well-funded competitors with hot-selling new consoles, video game veteran Nintendo needed to do something at this year’s E3 convention to show it’s still relevant. Its solution this morning: Announce lots of sequels to some of its most beloved franchises (always a sure bet) and a foray into the emerging game sector that uses  figurines with embedded computer chips to add functionality and characters to game play.

Related: E3: Two Tom Clancy Games Better Than One For Ubisoft

Reggie Fils-Aime closer up

Amiibo, as it will be called (the name is a play on the Nintendo convention of Wii and its online avatars called Miis), is similar to the massively successful Skylanders series from Activision (which just announced a new set of characters as part of the Skylanders Trap Team) and Disney Infinity. Unveiling the company’s entry in what he called the “toys-to-life category,” Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime mentioned both Skylanders and Infinity. The computer chip in each figure can be activated by touching the toy to the Wii U console’s gamepad, importing character data into a game such as the next Super Smash Brothers title, which Fils-Aime also announced. Communication between chip and gamepad is two-way. “You can send information back to … Read More »