As E3 draws to a close for another year, one of the most significant reveals for Nintendo will likely be regarded as the Amiibo figure platform. Previous codenamed NFP (Nintendo Figurine Platform), an initial range was finally shown, demonstrated and confirmed for a number of new and existing titles, even including Mario Kart 8.
Speaking to IGN, Shinya Takahashi (general manager of Software Planning & Development) explained how even figures targeting a particular game will function in a more basic form on other Amiibo compatible titles.
Takahashi: "I think the biggest distinction for the amiibo figures is first, we're releasing them with Smash Bros. and there will be figures for the different characters in the game. You can take the Mario amiibo and use it in Smash Bros., but then you'll be able to use it across different games that Mario appears in. For example, you can use the Smash Bros. Mario figure and use it in Mario Kart 8 when that functionality releases. You can also use that same Mario figure in Mario Party 10. So for the amiibo project in general, we're looking at having all of the figures be useable across a lot of Nintendo titles and not just the one game the figure was [visually] designed for.
To get technical, the amiibo is able to store data, and within the full data set you have this much data (mimics a large space with his pointer finger and thumb) which is reserved for Smash Bros. But then you have a subset of data (mimics roughly half of the space from the previous example) that says this is the Mario figure. Smash Bros will use the big chunk of data in the Smash Bros. amiibo, but the other games are able to read that this is a Mario figure through this other set of data that identifies the character, and that is how the characters are able to interact with the Mario amiibo.
When you use the Smash Bros. Mario amiibo in Smash Bros., it's able to do all of the different things designed for that game. When you take that amiibo and you use it in different games, it's not the Smash Bros. Mario, it's just a Mario. It's a more simple use for [amiibo functionality] but it's able to do those two things.
What that does seem to clarify is that the range shown at E3 is primarily in place for Super Smash Bros., despite that functionality carrying across to other games. Takashi-san and Shigeru Miyamoto explained that there may be alternative ranges of figures for particular releases, for more specialised functionality; future toys could be bigger, too.
Takashi: "We probably won't prepare amiibo for every IP. We haven't finalized which ones we will just yet. It's tough to explain, but if there's something that particularly useful to have a dedicated amiibo for within a particular game, then we will probably create an amiibo line specifically in support of that."
Miyamoto: "So for example, if you look at the Mario amiibo from the Smash Bros. line, it's the Smash Bros. Mario, which is a little bit different from the normal Mario. We'll probably prepare a more standard Mario family line of amiibo characters that includes your typical Mario designs and typical Peach designs. Those figures would be the ones you use with Mario Party 10 or potentially with Mario Kart 8. As for Star Fox, we haven't decided what will happen when you put the Smash Bros. Star Fox amiibo on the GamePad yet, but I do want an Arwing amiibo (laughs).
Takashi: And the other thing is we're not putting any restrictions on size. We can make amiibo in a variety of size ranges. We could make a giant one. We could even make a giant robot amiibo (laughs).
Though Nintendo has promised that toys will work across multiple titles — hence arguments that it's potentially better value than the established Activision and Disney franchises — it seems there will be scope for Nintendo to make the most of the platform with an extensive range of toys.
Let us know what you think, and which specific figurines you'd like to see.