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Amiibo will unlock free 'highlighted scenes' from NES and SNES games this year

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Amiibo figurines will unlock "highlighted scenes" of NES and SNES games in a free Wii U app this year, Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata announced today in a financial results briefing.

The app, which will be a free download, is scheduled for release in the first half of 2015.

"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," Iwata said. "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."

Nintendo revealed its amiibo product line at E3 2014. Using NFC technology to communicate with the Wii U and the 3DS handheld products, the Skylanders-like toys are based on popular characters that appear on Nintendo systems. They add functionality to games, including the recent Super Smash Bros. titles.

Amiibos proved popular after their release, and several that sold out in stores fetched high prices in online auctions. In today's briefing, Iwata also reiterated that Nintendo plans to release amiibo in card form, in part to ameliorate dwindling figurine stock.

new batch of amiibo is scheduled for release to coincide with Mario Party 10 in March. To date, Iwata said, Link is the world’s most popular amiibo. Press play below to see Nintendo’s introduction to the figurines.