This summer, Disney is looking at taking on Activision and their Skylanders brand with a toy/video game line of their own called Disney Infinity.
At the heart of the game are the collectable figures with an internal memory that records their progress. Disney plans on tapping many of its franchises for characters of which Pirates of the Caribbean, Cars, Incredibles, Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Nightmare Before Christmas and Wreck It Ralph were all shown in the launch trailer.
Disney plans on having 30 characters available for launch this June, including a starter pack, individual characters and character bundles. The Starter Pack is said to include Pirate Jack, Mr. Incredible and Sully also a platform that can accommodate three characters and power discs. The power discs stack under the character on the platform and give them a unique in-game power. They will be sold individually or with characters that don't come with playsets and add another layer of collectability to Infinity.
Pirates of the Caribbean Play Set
Where Infinity differs from Skylanders is that it's a non-linear experience. You can go anywhere in that characters 'Playset' and do what you want or do missions, solve puzzles, find collectibles and complete challenges. Each Playset is tied to a specific universe, so Incredibles exist in the Incredibles campaign Playset, Pirates characters would exist in the Pirates of the Caribbean campaign playset etc. What isn't answered is what happens when you add more character from the same universe, do they re-play the same campaign content or are new elements added.
The biggest departure from Skylanders is Infinity's 'Toybox' mode. In this mode, gamers can unleash their Disney fanboy and 'what if' scenarios. You can mix and match characters from different playsets in Toybox mode. Want to race Incredibles Dash against Cars Lightning McQueen to see who's the fastest? You can do that. Want to put Buzz Lightyear's jetpack on Woody? You can do that too. You can also build, if you wanted to make a virtual replica of Disneyland, you can do that. Toybox mode will come with some pre-defined models to get you started like Cinderellas Castle. Another feature to play with are logic switches and other drop in gameplay mechanics like we've seen in games such as Little Big Planet so you can create your own interactive games inside the Toybox. Don't think you have to go it alone either, 4 player online co-op or 2 player couch co-op will be supported so your friends can join in the fun.
While Skylanders is the king of the toy/game scene right now, Disney Infinity will have immediately recognizable characters and established worlds to play in. It doesn't take much to imagine this is going to take off like a wildfire. Disney also owns Marvel and Star Wars. If Infinity does well at retail, it's also not hard to imagine those franchises being added on later.