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Nintendo filed a patent for a curious trading card set that uses Amiibo tech

Nintendo filed a patent for a trading card set that uses NFC technology (like Amiibo). Unlike Amiibo, though, the trading card set appears to be just that — a series of cards designed to be collected and traded.

A section of the patent reads: “The trading cards refer to cards on which variously different pictures are depicted and a purpose thereof is collection and exchanged. Namely, the trading cards are cards manufactured and sold aiming at exchange or collection of pictures on each surface thereof.”

In one of the figures in the document, a card is shown hovering above a Nintendo 3DS to demonstrate its contactless technology that takes the data from the card and stores it on the device.

The obvious assumption is that Nintendo is tinkering with the idea of making a series of Pokémon cards that interact with the Nintendo 3DS, but the patent images of characters named John, Beth, and Mike certainly don’t provide concrete clues.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

It does appear that there would be some “game” involved with the cards. Each card represents either rock, paper, or scissors (as shown in the upper lefthand corner). And each card shows a number 1-6 on a die on the right side. It would seem that users could upload data to their 3DS’ and play against one another in games of chance.

Although the new cards have a different design, those symbols were previously used in another line of Amiibo cards. Cards for use in three recent Animal Crossing games — Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (3DS), Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival (Wii U), and Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS) — each had either a rock, paper, or scissors icon and a number from a die. 400 cards were manufactured in all. More recently, Nintendo released a more basic line of Amiibo cards for Mario Sports Superstars that unlocked character power-ups and new gear.

Nintendo filed for the patent in November. With the runaway success of the Nintendo Switch, we wonder if Nintendo would bring this trading card set to the Switch as well. As it stands, it’s clear that Nintendo is still drumming up ideas for its aging 3DS hardware.

Steven Petite
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven is a writer from Northeast Ohio currently based in Louisiana. He writes about video games and books, and consumes…
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