Amiibo Cards, External NFC Reader for 3DS, 3DS XL, and 2DS Coming this Year

Nintendo has grand plans for Amiibo in 2015. Not only will the company be releasing an external NFC reader for older 3DS handhelds, but they’ll also be launching Amiibo in card form.

CEO and president Satoru Iwata revealed both plans during the company’s financial results briefing today. The external NFC reader will launch this summer in Japan, and will work with the original 3DS, 3DS XL, and 2DS. This will allow these older handhelds to use Amiibos in select games. NFC compatibility is built into the New 3DS and New 3DS XL.

“Even though only Wii U has been compatible with Amiibo so far, we are making steady progress on compatibility with the Nintendo 3DS platform,” Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata said. “New Nintendo 3DS is equipped with NFC as a standard feature. For existing Nintendo 3DS systems, we will release an external NFC reader/writer in summer this year.”

Nintendo also plans to expand Amiibo into collectible cards. Cheaper to produce than figurines, these cards will allow Nintendo to mass produce hard-to-find Amiibo like Wii Fit Trainer, Rosalina, and Ike. However, they certainly don’t have the same appeal as the actual figurine.

“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.”

Amiibo launched late last year alongside Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The figurines have proven quite popular with 5.7 million Amiibo shipped so far.