Disney just finished holding their press event this afternoon where they have officially announced something they have been hinting at for the past few month: Disney Infinity. This is a rather huge project from Disney that is going to be a massive cross-platform sandbox gaming platform that breaks past the barriers of digital platforms and invades toys as well. Think Skylanders but on a much more massive and interactive, ever expanding scale.
Essentially Disney Infinity will combine the Disney and Pixar universe from the past, present and future and offer it up to people in a physical form, that being of toys, as well as the digital game that can be played on pretty much every platform under the sun, from the Xbox360 to mobile phones and tablets. Calling it a game is almost an incorrect statement as Disney Infinity is more of a gaming platform and not just one single game, although everything is basically connected together, and will be ever expanding as more of the Disney and Pixar universes expand.
People will be able to buy figures of characters, along with 'power discs', which they can take with them where ever they go. These figurines and their accompanying power discs are also brought into the digital world of Disney Infinity which is the gaming aspect of the whole project. These worlds have both your standard Story Modes to them as well as an open-world sandbox mode.
When you own a figurine, you will need to place them on a special reader which is similar to a Portal in Skylanders. This will 'teleport' that figurine into the gaming world. From there they can be buffed, customized or given accessories by placing 'Power Discs' on the reader along with them. After that it is off to customizing your world in almost every possible facet that you can imagine.
Figurines will be offered up in sets which will have characters from whatever movie, or universe, that set is themed after. From there players will be introduced to the Toy Box component of Disney Infinity which allows players to build their onw Superhero headquarters, customize vehicles/structures and other items from the world that particular set is based off of, and basically create an entire world based off of the theme of the set they just purchased. These created worlds, once approved, can be shared with anyone else globally to play in.
Disney takes everything a step further by differentiating these worlds and their themes by including game mechanics that are found in the movies these sets are based off of. So if the overall theme is the Pirates of the Caribbean then half of the game is about exploring the open seas, sword fighting, finding treasure and everything else that comes with being Jack Sparrow.
During the event footage from franchises both companies own were shown such as Cars, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc., Phineas and Ferb, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Wreck it Ralph, Toy Story, and Pirates of the Caribbean. On top of that, let us not forget that Disney also owns properties such as Marvel and Star Wars which will almost definitely be translated into Disney Infinity.
So far there are three confirmed 'sets' that will be available at launch which are Monsters University, The Incredibles, and Pirates of the Caribbean. However, from now until Disney Infinity launches in June, they will be releasing further information about other sets that will be available by launch, for a total of 20 toys and characters to be available on launch day.
There is really no limit to how far Pixar and Disney can go with this and you can be sure that there will be a ridiculous amount of information coming our way between now and launch day in June. We will try to keep everyone up to speed as details are released.
Websites Referenced: PocketGamer | Forbes | Polygon