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Third-party "Amiiqo" tech allows users to spoof Amiibo data

Device lets Wii U owners download unauthorised data for Nintendo's NFC figures

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.

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Latest comments (5)

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 6 years ago
Disney Infinity and Skylanders feature heavy encryption, which is why there hasn't been one of these for them, yet anyway.

As usual, Nintendo doesn't understand modern technology, so it's no wonder they got hacked. In fact I'll wager that it's unrepairable in future figures, at least until the NX, as the NFC system is pretty much off the shelf. It's a good thing Amiibo is far more a toy collectible than a game aid, so it shouldn't hurt them too badly. While I'm sure they'll make the effort, I doubt it's worth their time to go after this like the R4.
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Ron Dippold Software/Firmware Engineer 6 years ago
Including pre-loaded figures seems like a definite no-no, but expect to see more of this. The combination of 'one figure can hold data for one game only' and locking in-game content to Amiibos you can't even find without paying ridiculous scalper prices is ridiculous.

Thankfully the physical figures are quite nice, so even if the NFC bit is cracked and the virtual figures are out there if you want them (as with Pokemon, or Bravely Default's VR cards), people will still buy them for the collectability or just the looks. I'm sure Nintendo won't see it this way, but it seems like an okay situation overall. Buy the figure if you want the figure.
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Jordan Lund Columnist 6 years ago
There wouldn't have been a drive to create a device like this if Nintendo hadn't artificially limited the availability of some figures.

They were going for a Beanie Baby style market which is fine, but in this case there's an obvious technology work around.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 6 years ago
There wouldn't have been a drive to create a device like this if Nintendo hadn't artificially limited the availability of some figures.

They were going for a Beanie Baby style market which is fine, but in this case there's an obvious technology work around.
I honestly don't think Nintendo planned for amiibo's to be so successful at first. It's the same way they handled the original Wii launch, they had no idea that was going to be in such strong demand so it was hard to get for the first year or so. But by now they are well aware of the problems many consumers have been having with acquiring certain amiibo's and they should have started releasing more figures to accommodate the increased demand. If this thing takes off I bet they will rethink how much available figures they start making for newer amiibo's.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 20th August 2015 1:14am

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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 6 years ago
@Jordan
These are toys that cost $12-15 each. There was always going to be a market for a device like this.
Which is why Disney and Activision have been so hardcore in their encryption schemes. The figures have been easy to read, but there are custom chips in the bases that do a first stage decrypt, which is then finished in software. The fact Nintendo couldn't include that made it that much easier to break
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