After months of speculation, on Tuesday Disney Interactive Studios confirmed the existence of Disney Infinity, a new multi-platform gaming initiative powered by collectible plastic toys.
Disney Interactive is teaming with Avalanche Software (who previously developed the Toy Story 3 video game), to bring Disney Infinity to life. Players will be able to enter the worlds of Disney and Pixar films like The Incredibles and Pirates of the Caribbean by placing miniature figures on the Infinity Base, and watching them come to life on the screen. It's similar to what Activision's Skylanders does, only with franchised and recognizable characters like Captain Jack Sparrow and Sully from Monsters University.
In addition to figures based on characters from well-known films, the Infinity Base will also use Power Discs. These provide either additional powers to the characters being used, or serve to add in-powerful items and gadgets for use in the game world. You can get a better look at some of the abilities and add-ons available through the Power Discs in the trailer below.
Up to four players will be able to play online at one time, while two players can enjoy split-screen action on one console. There's a host of characters Disney could use along the way, but to get things kicked off, the starter pack (which will retail for $74.99), will feature figures for Capt. Jack Sparrow, Mr. Incredible, and Sully. Each of the character's respective films represents its own unique Play Set. Characters from one franchise cannot interact with Play Sets different from their own in the standard game, but will be able to mix and mingle in Disney Infinity's Toy Box mode.
Toy Box, an evolution of the same idea from Avalanche's Toy Story 3 game, is a big sandbox where players can do basically whatever they want within the confines of the game's abilities. Whole worlds and challenges can be created by you, which sounds a bit like LittleBigPlanet and Minecraft, giving Disney Infinity a scope that will be hard to match if the developers can pull it all off.
When Disney Infinity launches later this year, the first wave of figures will include 17 different characters (sold in packs of 3 for $29.99, or in singles for $12.99 each), three Play Sets ($34.99 each), and 20 additional Power Discs (available in packs for $4.99). Disney Infinity will be available on the PlayStation 3, PC, Wii, Wii U, 3DS, Xbox 360, and unspecified mobile devices.