It seems Nintendo has no problem stoking the fires of the Amiibo character craze sweeping across America, Japan and most other places in between. Late yesterday the company announced new Amiibo characters launching soon and detailed a new form of a Amiibo that’ll likely prove even more popular with New Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U buyers than the current version.
Nintendo announced a new wave of Amiibo during its Nintendo Direct event yesterday. Nintendo Direct events allow the company to livestream the latest in Nintendo related announcements over the web and directly to the people who care about them the most. Amiibo are the tiny NFC-equipped characters that unlock additional content in Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games.
First, there are the new Amiibo figures headed to Super Smash Bros. New Amiibo figures compatible with the game will include Charizard, Pac-Man, Wario, Jigglypuff, Greninja, Robin, Lucina and Ness. This set of new Amiibo figures will launch on May 29th. Following them this July will be Dark Pit and Palutena. Nintendo plans to launch another round of new Super Smash Bros. Amiibo figures in September. That last round will include Zero Suit Samus, Ganondorf, Olimar, Dr. Mario and Bowser Jr. Super Smash Bros. launched on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS last year.
Nintendo’s strategy to win over buyers has always involved a heavy dose of nostalgia and the same is true with this new round of Amiibo. New figures inspired by classic games will allow users to unlock free gameplay highlights from the Nintendo eShop. The eShop is Nintendo’s own online digital store. The company says that these will also be compatible with the Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo Wii U.
The company is also playing with materials and styles. When Yosi’s Woolly World launches players will be able to add an extra Yoshi character to their game with an Amiibo made of actual yarn. These characters will come in green, pink and blue, but only be for use with the Wii U.
Splatoon, the upcoming arena battle game that’s really a shooter with ink and funny squid characters instead of guns and soldiers, is getting its own set of Amiibo on May 29th. Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy and Inkling Squid will be available for use with the Wii U. These characters add what Nintendo describes as “Special missions to unlock weapons and gear.” Splatoon arrives on store shelves on May 29th too.
Finally, Nintendo is making some of its existing Amiibo characters compatible with Mario Kart 8, the best-selling arcade racing game that launched last year. Those who own the figures will get nine new Mii suits. One of those nine suits includes Mega Man’s armor.
All told, this week’s Nintendo Direct event was stuffed full of news. Beyond the new Amiibo figures Nintendo confirmed the existence of Yoshi’s Woolly World, set a U.S. release for the next Fatal Frame, announced a new Fire Emblem for Nintendo 3DS next year and began making Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS games available as digital downloads for the Wii U.
To top all of this off, the company revealed Amiibo Cards are coming this fall. These cards will feature different characters and still have NFC technology. The fist set of Amiibo Cards will be for Animal Crossing. Also coming is a dedicated NFC/reader and writer so that anyone with a Nintendo console that doesn’t support Amibo won’t have to upgrade to a newer system.
Nintendo launched the Amiibo action figures last year. Most assumed that the figures would be just another add-on, something that a very devoted group of fans wanted, but most gamers wouldn’t. Instead, they seemed to have spawned a movement. Nintendo has sold millions is Amiibo figures for their games. For weeks, fans spent time trying to track down very rare Amiibo action figures for their personal collection.