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Nintendo Wii U update adds Amiibo support

Nintendo is rolling out a firmware update for its Wii U console that adds support for the company’s new Amiibo figures.

Version 5.3.0 of the Wii U software is available now, and the main addition is support for Nintendo’s Amiibo toys.

The following entry has been added to Nintendo’s Wii U support page: “amiibo Settings has been added to System Settings. amiibo Settings allows users to register an amiibo owner and nickname, delete data written to an amiibo by supported software, or reset an amiibo.”

Wii U users will also get the usual “improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments” as part of the update package.

Nintendo’s Amiibo toy range will provide Skylanders-like interactivity with the company’s games, starting with Super Smash Bros. Mario Kart 8 will also receive Amiibo support via a planned update later this week.

Users will be able to tap the little figurines of Nintendo’s popular cast of characters against the Wii U GamePad, utilising in-built NFC technology. Data can be stored on the figurines and transferred to other devices, and in-game commands and bonuses can also be triggered.

Nintendo 3DS games will also support Amiibo usage, but only the new model has the requisite NFC technology built-in, and that won’t hit UK shops until some time next year.

The whole Amiibo initiative is expected to provide a lucrative new revenue stream for Nintendo, which has been struggling over the past year or two with underwhelming Wii U sales.

The first Amiibo figures will hit shops on November 28, with more batches set to follow.

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