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Nintendo to launch Amiibo NFC trading cards, prepare your wallet for more punishment

Jonathan Lester
Amiibo, Nintendo

Nintendo to launch Amiibo NFC trading cards, prepare your wallet for more punishment

Nintendo Amiibos already exert a huge strain on our wallets, but a new wave of Amiibos will probably fit into our wallets too.

Buried in the latest Nintendo quarterly results briefing is a statement regarding a new type of NFC-equipped collectible that goes beyond the traditional figurines.

"In contrast to the current figure-shaped amiibo available, we will make amiibo in the form of cards this year as one of our future plans as Mr. Miyamoto mentioned at the Corporate Management Policy Briefing in October."

So, basically trading cards. Or more accurately trading cards that unlock content in games you own or transfer saves between consoles.

The possibilities are endless, while the new NFC cards could also be distributed much more easily in magazines, store promotions and other events. They'll also be used to replace hard-to-find Amiibos such as Little Mac in Europe, getting more of them out into the marketplace with a minimum of effort.

These cards will also likely tie into a proposed free trial service that lets you play timed demos of Virtual Console games with a corresponding Amiibo.

"We are also planning a free-download app for Wii U in which you can enjoy NES and Super NES games with your amiibo in the first half of this year," the briefing continues. "With this app, once you tap your amiibo on the NFC area of the GamePad, you will be able to play highlighted scenes of one certain title for NES or Super NES. You cannot play the entire game due to a time limit, but another tap of the amiibo will enable you to try another highlighted scene in the game. We hope that when you tap your amiibo, the quickly changing game scenes will pleasantly surprise you and make you feel as though you have just exchanged a game cartridge."

Sounds like fun. Expensive, expensive fun.

We're still not quite sold on Amiibos, but we can't stop buying them either. There multiple Amiibos available for £9.99 at Games Centre, just in case you don't have enough.

Add a comment3 comments
Tsung  Feb. 17, 2015 at 13:41

I understand Amiibos, alongside the in game bonuses you get a nice model to display at other times. But cards of hard to find Amiibos I'm sorry Nintendo... Simply no.

Nintendo should just make more of the hard to get Amiibo's. At very least they should create enough at the start to satisfy pre-orders.

When availability is so limited and Amiibo's are required to get the "full game" experience, at some point, customers are going to disengage. That will cause Nintendo some serious problems. I can imagine people even leaving games on the shelf if they don't own the Amiibo's to get a full experience from it.

Trading cards... just don't cut it.

Late  Feb. 17, 2015 at 14:11

You'd think people would eventually find the limited editions and supply constraints from Nintendo tiresome, but they've been at it for so long it's gotta be a deliberate act - and a profitable one.
Of course it seems completely counter-intuitive to make limited numbers of something that will sell out. You've surely got guaranteed money by making more. But I guess there's an strong element of "demand is high because supply is restricted" which allows/encourages them to keep the practice up, and I'm sure their accountants and analysts have decided they'll make more money by selling less units.

JonLester  Feb. 17, 2015 at 14:27

@Tsung: I agree as far as replacing rare Amiibos is concerned. Ninty are missing a trick and encouraging the grey market by not upping production, effectively putting money into the pockets of scalpers as opposed to, erm, their own pockets.

However, if Nintendo handles this right (oh gawd, I've heard that before), there's scope for Amiibo cards to go beyond just stock replenishment. Much like Disney Infinity has its power discs and suchlike, Ninty could release a new wave of cards with familiar power-ups, smaller characters and other fanservice bits and pieces that could unlock small yet interesting content such as skins etc. Then sell them in random packs.

Whether they do so remains to be seen, because this is Nintendo and doing bizarre counter-intuitive business is their game.

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