Nintendo today announced its range of figurine toys for Wii U.
Called amiibo, they touch the Wii U GamePad and appear as avatars in-game. They can fight against enemies and level up along the way. The first toys will be released alongside Super Smash Bros later this year.
Speaking during a Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said the toys "have unique features and functionality that can only be found on Wii U." He demonstrated the toys in action.
"There's a special chip that's embedded in every figure," he said. "Any Wii U system will recognize the figures by touching them on the Wii U GamePad, and when that happens, they spring to life in compatible games in cool new ways.
"When you touch amiibo to the GamePad, the character's data is downloaded into the game you're playing, and it's also a two-way street," he said. "We can send information back to the figure. So in other words, your figure's data changes as you play, which opens the door for various new gameplay possibilities.
"For example, your own figure with its own unique stats and fighting style, will not only appear, but also evolve as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. on Wii U. In fact, Super Smash Bros. on Wii U will indeed be the first game to support amiibo. In other words, this holiday, we're not only releasing the game you've been waiting for, but also amiibo, that literally gives you new ways to play.
"When you use an amiibo in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, that character will appear as a fighter in the game and compete in battles, developing its own unique attributes and skills. You can fight against them yourself, have them square off against other amiibo. They can even join you and fight on the same team."
Fils-Aime said that amiibo would be released for more Nintendo games including Mario Kart 8. "Super Smash Bros. is just the start. Amiibo play is also being prepared right now for a number of other Nintendo games.
Polygon will have a full report on amiibo later today.