Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has reiterated a card form of the company’s popular amiibo will be released this year.
“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,” said Iwata.
The firm announced back in October during an investors’ Q&A, that a card form of the figurines was in the works.
“The amiibo product range will also include cards in the future,” Nintendo’s senior managing director Shigeru Miyamoto said at the time.
“For example, when amiibo become cards, we can create a game which can be played only by passing several cards over the NFC reader/writer, and the results will be stored in the amiibo card.
“I cannot discuss any of the details today, but amiibo has the potential to propose new ways to play card games.”
The popularity of amiibo has surprised the company, according to Iwata, noting how online auctions were offering the figurines at premium prices, “something which none of us had predicted.”
“Amiibo is performing especially well in the US, Canada and Australia,” he said. “We are going to add various changes to the appearances of amiibo store shelves including the Super Smash Bros. series (compatible with Mario Party 10),” said Iwata.
“As store shelf space is limited, some amiibo may become standard models while others may be replaced once they sell out. If possible, amiibo will maintain a constant presence in stores, which will be beneficial for all Nintendo platforms.”
As reported yesterday, the company sold 5.7 million amiibo units worldwide by the end of last year. In the North American region alone, customers in the US and Canada accounted for 63% of worldwide sales.
The total proportion of the total shipment, according to Nintendo, is approximately 70% in each of Japan, US and Canada, and Europe, while it reaches 90% in Australia.
Nintendo is planning to release an external NFC reader/writer this summer to make amiibo compatible with older Nintendo 3DS models.