Looking for a break-out hit, Nintendo has set a date for two big game launches just in time for the holiday season.
Nintendo said today that Super Smash Bros. for Will U will launch on Nov. 21 for $60, and the company’s interactive toys, called amiibo, will launch the same day at a price of $13 each. A dozen characters will launch in the first wave with a second wave of figurines to launch in December.
The figurines use NFC technology to transfer information from the toy into the game. The gamer places the character on the Wii U GamePad to initiate the transfer of in-game content and develop their own characters over time. The concept is similar to Activision’s very popular Skylanders game, but unlike Skylanders, Nintendo’s figurines can work across multiple games.
The figurines will first work with Super Smash Bros for Wii U, and will support Mario Party 10 and Yoshi’s Woolly World when they are released. Mario Kart 8, which is available now, will also support amiibo in the future. Also, there will be a way to use the amiibos with 3DS games with special hardware.
Super Smash Bros. is one of Nintendo’s strongest brands. After launching a portable version for the Nintendo 3DS — the first time it was available for a handheld device — it sold more than 2.8 million copies sold worldwide, Nintendo announced today.
But it’s unclear whether these releases will be enough to energize sales of the lagging Wii U. Generally, Nintendo’s first-party releases have been slow to launch, and of the 13 first-party Wii U games Nintendo talked about at E3 this summer, only three were slated to be released this year.
In July, the gaming giant posted a loss of $97.3 million on revenue of $732 million for the quarter ended in June It was its third loss in the past four quarters. During the quarter, Nintendo sold 510,000 Wii U consoles, an improvement over the 160,000 units it sold in the same period a year ago.
Nintendo said today, another release, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, will launch Dec. 5 for $39.99. The adventure game lets players explore a haunted house or escaping a smoldering volcano. The game will also support select amiibo figures in 2015.