Amiibo cards will be available later this year, says Iwata


If you’ve done any amount of amiibo hunting since the figures launched in November alongside Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, you know how hard it can be to get your hands on certain figures, especially the store exclusive figures in the United States. Nintendo recently announced that the company has sold over 5.7 million figures worldwide since launch and that the company remains committed to making sure fans are able to get their hands on any amiibo they want.

The most popular figure by far for the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe was Link and while that figure is widely available, some of the lesser known figures are incredibly hard to find. Most notoriously is the Rosalina and Luma figure, which is a Target exclusive here in the United States. Scalpers have managed to buy up thousands of stock and many Target stores are turning away customers who are looking for that specific amiibo.

In order to handle demand for the figures, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated that Nintendo will go forward with offering amiibo cards as one of their marketing decisions this year. We first heard of the possibility of amiibo being released as cards from Shigeru Miyamoto, way back in October.

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.

One of the extended benefits of amiibo was discussed at Nintendo’s investor meeting, with certain amiibo being able to unlock virtual console trials for NES and SNES games.

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.

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.

Nintendo seems to be fully integrating amiibo into the Wii U system so that even if you don’t have Super Smash Bros. and you want specific amiibo, they’ll be able to function in several other games. No pricing information was given for the amiibo cards or how they will be distributed, so expect more information on that perhaps at E3 this year.