Nintendo characters come to life through new models at E3




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BY MALATHI NAYAK

LOS ANGELES – Nintendo Co Ltd offered the first glimpse at interactive figurines Mario and other characters on Tuesday at gaming expo E3, aiming fire sales its two-year- Wii console, which have fallen far short targets.

The “amiibo” models, which mark Nintendo’s entrance into the “toys--life” category popularized by Activision’s “Skylanders” and Walt Disney Co’s “Infinity,” contain a chip that activates and trains characters the when placed on the Wii GamePad controller.

Around 10 figurines will be introduced with the release Smash Bros. 4” for the Wii time for the end--year holiday , Nintendo said. The models will also be made compatible with other existing , such as the recently launched “Mario Kart 8,” the future, the company added without providing details.

Nintendo has come under from investors change tack after booking a third straight year of losses on disappointing Wii U sales but has so far resisted calls put its on smartphones.

However, the company is moving to lessen its dependence on the volatile and cyclical game console market, with a health-related platform and a -cost machine for emerging markets the works.

The amiibo figurines are part of an effort to increase the appeal of the console, which has suffered from a lack of hit games to match the fitness- and family-oriented titles that made its predecessor, the Wii, a bestseller.

Nintendo said it would release a peripheral device for its handheld 3DS console at a later date to it compatible with the amiibo figures, which will include characters such as Pikachu, Donkey Kong and Link from the Legend of Zelda.

The company also announced a new eight-player action game, Splatoon, for release in 2015. Created by the same that developed the Mario and Zelda titles, the game features squid-like characters that compete to cover as much space as possible with colorful ink.

Other games in the pipeline include “Bayonetta 2” from Platinum Games, for release in October 2014, and a new iteration of “The Legend of Zelda” for the Wii U scheduled for release in 2015. (Reuters)