The Wii U controller features Near Field Communication technology

Near Field Communication

Lots of news came out of Nintendo’s investor relations meeting today, one of which was the inclusion of “Near Field Communication” technology (NFC for short) in the Wii U’s controller.

NFC is a technology that facilitates communication between electronic devices when they are physically near one another. Travel cards, credit cards, and even some cell phones (especially in Japan) use it to make instant payments when they are swiped over a special pad.

So what is it doing in the Wii U controller? Well, read what Iwata has to say about it:

By installing this functionality, it will become possible to create cards and figurines that can electronically read and write data via noncontact NFC and to expand the new play format in the video game world. Adoption of this functionality will enable various other possibilities such as using it as a means of making micropayments.

While NFC has been used predominantly as a payment technology, it’s very interesting to hear that it will be made available to Wii U developers for use in games, too. Imagine swiping a Pokemon card over the controller and watching the Pokémon come to life on the touchscreen, then spring from the controller to your TV.

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Comments, Reactions, and General Hooliganism

  1. TS

    Oh the possibilities. And the Pokémon example is just to start. I’m sure Nintendo will use NFC for new gaming worlds, I’m so excited!

  2. They’re packing a lot of stuff in there, let’s hope they actually use it.

    Did you know there was a tiny memory in the Wiimote where you can store 10 or so Miis? That sure turned out useful >_>

  3. Peanut Crunch

    This should mean great things for gift cards, perhaps even making way for a Nintendo account card. You could insert a non-set amount of money at a store, go home, touch the card on your Wii U controller and insert the money instantly (pending a password barrier) – no more codes! (I know a lot of people hate those). Just want one downloadable game? Go to the store and insert what it costs + tax.

    Going beyond that, selling downloadable games via cards could be great for retail. Just buy it, touch it and the game starts downloading.