Want the functionality of an amiibo without having to fill your house with plastic toys?
At this point no-one can deny the runaway success of Nintendo's amiibo initiative, with fans snapping up the little plastic figures faster than Nintendo can put em on shelves. Last year, Nintendo creative lead Shigeru Miyamoto pondered card-based amiibos, and now it looks like they are becoming a reality. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata announced in a recent financial presentation that the card-based amiibos are indeed in development for 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 as Mr. Miyamoto mentioned at the Corporate Management Policy Briefing in October," said Iwata. Card-based amiibo would have the same functionality as the current amiibo figures, but would obviously be quite a bit cheaper and easier to store. It seems like it would be the perfect solution for those who want the extra content that amiibos unlock in-game, but don't care for collecting toys.
Iwata also talked a bit about just how successful these collectibles have been. He said that 5.7 million units had shipped worldwide by the end of last year, and the overwhelming demand surprised even the management at Nintendo of Japan. In particular, they marveled at the premium prices which some amiibo had been selling for on eBay.
Additionally, he released the following regional sales chart:
Which shows that Link is clearly the most popular character across every region except Australia, who has a soft spot for both Nintendo and Pokemon's main mascots.
Lastly, Iwata said that for those 3DS users who haven't upgraded to the NEW Nintendo 3DS, that the external NFC reader accessory planned for the vanilla 3DS models is still in development, and on track for a summer, 2015 release.