Disney has announced an ambitious new gaming platform called Infinity. The game culls characters and settings from throughout the Disney universe. Physical action figures interface with a console-connected base, adding characters from lots of different Disney films to a virtual game world.
The basic idea with Infinity is that there will be a game in a box for your gaming platform of choice. With that box, you will get the game, some action figures, and a stand that interfaces with your console. Place the action figures on the stand and magically the character is dropped straight into the game world. Initially, there will be three Play Sets based on The Incredibles, Monsters University and Pirates of the Caribbean. There will be seventeen characters (action figures) to start with from just these three sets. Disney is describing Infinity as a platform rather than a game, so expect the number of characters and Play Sets to grow substantially over time.
Each Play Set will be an independent world with its own style of gameplay. Pirates of the Caribbean is combat focused. Monsters University focuses on vehicles and racing, while The Incredibles is another brawler augmented by the super powers of the Incredibles family.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Infinity story is Toy Box mode, where players are free to mix and match characters and Play Sets from any of Disney's respective galaxies. Consider the possibilities of the crossovers: Wall-E could (for whatever reason) visit the Cheshire Cat in Wonderland. It's as zany as it is exciting. Naturally, the creations made in the Toy Box can be shared amongst players online.
If all this is ringing a bell, it's because the Infinity concept is similar to a game called Skylanders. That game has become a massive success, and it appears that Disney is attempting to emulate it. That said, Disney's near limitless well of characters and settings combined in all kinds of new ways could certainly be a success, especially with the likely inevitable inclusion of Marvel and Star Wars themed expansions.
Infinity has no set launch date, but is expected in June. Launch platforms include Windows, Wii U, Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3, with mobile and tablet versions to follow later in the year.