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Nintendo > amiibo

About amiibo

Nintendo amiibo - Interactive figurines that changed the game

Amiibo (officially stylized as amiibo) is Nintendo's wireless communications and storage protocol, for use between compatible toys-to-life figurines and the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch gaming platforms. It was launched in November 2014 in the form of system software updates and a series of amiibo-enabled figurines. Amiibo figurines use near field communication (NFC) to interact with supported video game software, potentially allowing data to be transferred in and out of games and across multiple platforms. Amiibo functionality can be used directly with the Nintendo Switch, Wii U, and New Nintendo 3DS consoles by using built-in NFC readers. In addition, the rest of the 3DS hardware line can use an official NFC adapter.


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Nintendo > amiibo

Nintendo is a multinational consumer electronics and video game company based in Kyoto, Japan. A little-known fact about Nintendo is that it was originally founded in 1889 as a Japanese playing card company and continues to sell playing cards to this day. Moreover, Nintendo was the first in the world to manufacture playing cards made of plastic. Nintendo began developing electronic toys in 1966 and got their first taste of major success with Game & Watch in 1980, a line of handheld video games. After more well-received releases in 1985 such as the Famicon Disk System and Super Mario Brothers, Nintendo grew to become an industry icon and is now one of the largest video game companies in the world.

Bill Trinen, a translator at Nintendo, explained that the name Amiibo originated in Japan. The intent was to convey the sentiment of playing with a friend. He went on to say that for Westerners, it resembles the Spanish word for friend, amigo. Super Smash Bros. Amiibo toys were first released in North America and Europe in November 2014, with the Japanese release following in December. The Super Mario series (featuring Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, and Toad) arrived in March 2015 for both regions.

Supported games offer one of two kinds of Amiibo compatibility; the ability to access an Amiibo toy's NFC tag and store data, and read-only recognition. Each amiibo toy largely corresponds to a specific game that can access its storage space, though some may have multiple games that can use it. However, each amiibo toy can only store data from one compatible game at a time, meaning data must be deleted to use it with a different title. For example, a Mario amiibo figurine containing data from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U must have the data for that game deleted to store data from Mario Party 10. Many games offer compatibility with specific amiibo toys on a read-only basis, allowing for additional content to be unlocked in that game. For example, using certain figurines with Mario Kart 8 or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe unlocks Mii costumes based on the corresponding character. Multiple variations of the same character offer the same compatibility, although special variations can unlock unique content with specific games. Existing Wii U and 3DS games can receive updates for amiibo functionality. Due to their co-development effort on Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, Bandai Namco Entertainment were the first third-party publishers to embrace the amiibo concept in some of their own games.