Nintendo on Wii U’s NFC and Amiibo origins
Shigeru Miyamoto has spoken to Kotaku about Amiibo’s origins.
Miyamoto wanted to have reading and saving data functionality available without an accessory since the GBA days. That, he says, was the main reason why NFC was built in for Wii U.
As far as Amiibo figures are concerned, Miyamoto stated that Nintendo felt characters would be “the most appealing form factor for a physical object that has this functionality”.
“If you think back it’s very similar to what we did with the eReader, the card readers that existed for the Game Boy Advance. I had been wanting to have not as an optional accessory but as a built in piece of functionality the ability to have this interaction of reading and saving data with a physical object for quite some time. And that was why we made the decision to include it with Wii U to begin with. And since the launch of Wii U we’ve been thinking of what’s the most appealing form factor for a physical object that has this functionality that people would see it and just want to own it and ultimately we decided that it was the characters themselves.”
On another interesting note, Nintendo had long wanted “to have a series of these toys that worked not just with this one game but with multiple games.”