Nintendo announced a new initiative during their Digital Event this morning called amiibo. Like Skylanders and Disney Infinity before it, it’s all about figure collecting.
The big difference between amiibo and other figure-based game franchises is that the Nintendo characters can be used across several different games. Nintendo has confirmed that amiibo will work for Super Smash Bros for Wii U and Mario Kart 8, and many other games are currently being developed around it.
Nintendo says that the amiibo figures can connect to Smash Bros by placing them on the Wii U gamepad. This will transfer the character into the game, where they can fight alongside the player, or can be battled one-on-one.
Data can be transferred both to and from amiibo figures. This means that each time the figure is used, it can gain levels. They can also be customized with special abilities and move sets. No two amiibo figures will be alike.
Nintendo will also be providing a peripheral that allows amiibo figures to be transferred to the 3DS. They didn’t announce any compatible games, but it’s safe to say that the 3DS Smash Bros is a likely candidate,