Nintendo's Animal Crossing Direct event - What's the story with Welcome amiibo?

A different animal

Nintendo's Animal Crossing Direct event - What's the story with Welcome amiibo?

Nintendo just broadcast a special Direct event for Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the Nintendo 3DS. Why is Nintendo holding a special video broadcast for a three-year-old-game, you ask?

That's what this piece will explain, for those who haven't been able to check out the Twitch video itself.

We sincerely hope you haven't sold any of those Animal Crossing, Splatoon, or Zelda amiibos...

Welcome amiibo!

Animal Crossing: New Leaf has just received a major update called Welcome amiibo! It's available now from the Nintendo eShop. As the suggests, it's going to feature a big focus on Nintendo's scannable figures and cards.

Whether you've got a New Nintendo 3DS, or an older one with the 3DS NFC Reader/Writer, you'll be able to scan new characters into the game, who will appear in a new camp area run by a hippy dog named Harvey. That's him, down there.

Harvey and Wisp

Once a day you can call forth Wisp the lamp spirit and scan in an amiibo. These characters will then appear in your game.

There's a fresh series of 50 amiibo card characters who have never come to your village before. These will turn up in Harvey's camp in their own custom RVs with new furniture and items, which you can buy for yourself.

You can also call forth characters from the first four generations of Animal Crossing amigos - though they will come without their own RVs. Meanwhile, you can use the 16 Animal Crossing figurines to invite special characters like Tom Nook and Lottie, who will provide their own special items (more on which in a moment).

Splatoon and Zelda come to AC

In addition to Animal Crossing amiibos, it's possible to call forth characters themed after other Nintendo games. Splatoon and Zelda were the two shown, with accompanying items.

Games within games

Those special items granted by the amiibo figures include a Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, which will let you play the Desert Island Escape and Animal Crossing Puzzle League games respectively.

The former is a surprisingly tactical experience that will be familiar to those who have played Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival on the Wii U, while the latter is a fairly standard match-three game with the added twist of being able to scan bonus moves in using amiibo.

MEOW, that's right!

There's a new currency at play following the Welcome amiibo! update: MEOW coupons. That stands for Mutual Exchange of Wealth, in case you were wondering.

These don't actually require amiibo to obtain, and you'll earn them simply by playing the game as normal. However, they can be used to shop in Harvey's camp ground, or to buy items from your friends' RVs.

They can be redeemed from a new dispenser, which is shaped like a cat. Naturally.

Amiibo-free features

Not all of the additions revolve around amiibo. The update also includes a new invisible storeroom feature, which is essentially an invisible closet that expands your storage.

You can also now arrange your furniture using the touchscreen, much like in Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Speaking of which, you can link your Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer save data to unlock giant furniture in the Nookling catalogue.

Club Tortimer members can now turn off chat, and it's now possible to sell your town before restarting. This means that you can restart with a nice chunk of bells to get you started.

Selfie time

Finally, the new update comes with the amiibo camera feature, which lets you take selfies with AC characters. These can be posed and resized.