Disney Infinity: A virtual toybox full of real toys

Gamers are being given a virtual toybox with Disney Infinity, officially revealed in Hollywood this morning. The brand new IP is set to launch in June, and may just revolutionise children’s gaming. Expect characters, toys and settings to pop up from all manner of Disney and Pixar franchises, all thrown together into one glorious celebration of creativity and play.

John Pleasants, co-president of Disney Interactive first took the stage at a press event in Los Angeles this morning at the historic El Capitan theatre. He introduced the first three franchises – The Incredibles, Monsters University (based on the upcoming film), and Pirates of the Caribbean – but there were plenty more on show.

In the few moments we were able to see, we spotted bits and pieces from the following: Cars, Phineas and Ferb, Wreck It Ralph, Dumbo, Aladdin, Alice in Wonderland, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid …and, of course, Toy Story.

John Blackburn (Studio Vice President and General Manager at developer Avalanche Software) explained that Toy Story was a significant influence on the game, pointing out that Disney Infinity is just like Andy’s toy box, all sorts of toys, genres and ideas all thrown in together.

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The Disney Infinity platform includes:

  • Disney Infinity Interactive Pieces – Initially a line of 40 collectible interactive pieces will be introduced that allow players to expand and customize their play experiences.
  • Disney Infinity Interactive Character Figures – Seventeen character figures will allow players to experience a variety of their favourite characters in true to property experiences and in “Toy Box” mode.
  • Disney Infinity Base – When figures are placed on the Infinity base, they unlock the world and play experiences of Disney Infinity.
  • Disney Infinity Power Discs – Interactive discs can be placed on the Infinity base to power up characters and “Toy Box” with unique powers, customizations and gadgets.

As well as playing through set pieces (The Incredibles plays out quite differently to Monsters University), there is also a sandbox/Toy Box mode, an Adventures System designed to teach you how to use each element of the game, a Building mode where you can build up “buildings and castles and racetracks” using relatively simple toy blocks, and a Logic Editor that allows you to select trigger points and actions (to create games inside the game).

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The Character Figure toys are inspired by the new wave of vinyl collectibles, with an art style that “brings them together but celebrates the originality of the characters”. At launch, these will be drawn from The Incredibles, Pirates of the Caribbean and Monsters University, but we’re promised other franchises (“Yes, plural!”) will be announced before the game hits shelves.

…and it’s due to hit a lot of shelves – Disney Infinity has been developed for Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, as well as “an accompanying mobile experience”. Keep an eye out for it in June, but I bet we’ll hear plenty more about it as we get closer to launch.

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