Nintendo today opened up preorders for its line of amiibo figurines, with a suggested retail price of $12.99 and a delivery date of holiday 2014. The first dozen characters available will be iconic Nintendo characters; Mario, Peach, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Marth, Villager and Wii Fit Trainer.
Amiibos are Nintendo-themed miniatures embedded with near field communication chips. When placed near a Wii U the figures will be able to communicate with the console and contribute unique functionality to various Nintendo games. Similar technology has been in use for several years already with the wildly popular Skylanders series and Disney Infinity, which is now entering its second iteration.
Unlike other NFC figurine systems, Nintendos amiibos will be compatible across games and across Nintendo platforms. An amiibo peripheral for the 3DS is in the works and will be available some time in 2015.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be the first Nintendo title compatible with amiibo figures. It hasn't been made clear what the full scope of that functionality will be. Other games, including Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Mario Party 10 and Yoshi's Woolly World will also be compatible. Nintendo promises more details, including additional compatible titles, in the coming months.