An unauthorised device is available for pre-order which will allow consumers to spoof Nintendo's Amiibo figures, tricking a Wii U into thinking that they're talking to the NFC-powered toys instead.
The Amiiqo will cost £49.75 on pre-order and is marketing itself as a solution for customers wishing to avoid some of the inconvenience of using Nintendo's official figures, which can only actively be used to write data to a single game at a time, although they are able to be passively read by many. The Amiiqo comes loaded with ten Amiibo figures and can be used to store up to 200, with an accompanying Android app used to download data for new figures for transferral.
Whilst there might be legitimate uses for the device, such as enabling customers to keep their Amiibo's packaged after purchase, the potential for users to illegitimately fake the presence of the toys without buying them is unlikely to prove popular with Nintendo. However, the device is unlikely to put too big a dent in the company's business model for Amiibos, which have proven extremely popular. Whilst some unlockable content is linked to their purchase, such as skins, models and minor game modes, the main allure of the figures is their inherent collectability, hence the potential attraction of Amiiqo for those wanting to retain mint-condition packaging.
It's not clear whether the device is infringing any intellectual property or copyright laws, but Nintendo is not a company given to lassitude when dealing with any potential incursion into its legally protected realms. It's worth noting that the official Amiiqo.co.uk website is registered via an anonymising service to a guesthouse in Tokyo, alongside some other fairly varied firms. Although that's not necessarily any indication of the trustworthiness of the pre-orders themselves, it doesn't immediately present the firm in the most accountable of lights.
Nintendo has been contacted for an official comment on the device, but had not responded at the time of writing.