News Article

Wii U Controller Gets Intriguing New Wireless Technology

Posted by James Newton

Near Field Communication is go

Satoru Iwata revealed to investors that the Wii U controller will feature Near Field Communication (NFC) functions.

The wireless technology is commonly used in non-contact transactions such as swiping travel cards and making credit or debit card payments. It's Iwata's description of the technology's applications, however, that most intrigues:

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.

Making online transactions with a non-contact card would certainly be convenient, but it's the idea of gameplay cards and figures that offers most possibility: could Nintendo be preparing a Skylanders-style system for Wii U, or was the e-reader rumour really referring to the resurrection of Game Boy Advance's card reader?

[via nintendo.co.jp]

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User Comments (32)

Joco84

#2

Joco84 said:

worry is if they read credit cards that are in the proximity.....

3dbrains

#3

3dbrains said:

I think if you use your imagination - you will realise this opens up whole new gameplay options... ESPECIALLY IF YOU OWN A 3DS!
Think about it, imagine a game console that KNOWS you have the handheld JUST BECAUSE IT IS IN YOUR HOUSE, and transfers certain demo's or info or tracks or levels or the whole WiiU game to game on the go.

I like.

Victoria

#5

Victoria said:

4 cm huh? Then just leave your controller on the sofa next to your mate's pockets.... that's it..... just a little closer.....

Shworange

#7

Shworange said:

Sweet. You buy a yoshi figure and put it by your tv. A code beams from it to your game and BAM! You have yoshi in your game.

King_Boo

#9

King_Boo said:

I doubt this but, they could do something in the next smash bros. where you get figurines from club nintendo as prize characters instead of DLC

StarDust4Ever

#10

StarDust4Ever said:

Yay Skylanders! Mario Party 10 will come with a pack of 4 figurines, Mario, Luigi, Toad, Peach. If you want to play as Waluigi or Daisy, you have to buy the additional figurines at the store to unlock. :P

shingi_70

#11

shingi_70 said:

honestly beyond a fee trinkets thus will be mostly useless. Nrc is only great with mobile devices are certian software.

Shirma_Akayaku

#12

Shirma_Akayaku said:

@Victoria why lay it on the sofa? why not take it everywhere? passin by people, watchin that money rollin on in your Wii U. by the time you get home you'll be a millionaire

CanWizard

#13

CanWizard said:

its good that nintendo is making it easier for their customers to give them money.
this technology is probably their plan for avoiding more money-losing fiscal quarters.

shingi_70

#14

shingi_70 said:

forget what i wrote in my eariler post. Nrc could work with points cards and cards for download games to avoid scratching stuff off. depending om the software i could use my phone to buy games as well by connecting the two with NFC.

NintyMan

#15

NintyMan said:

It might be like the Wii U's version of AR cards. It could use figurines to get into the action, very much like Skylanders. I could definitely see Super Smash Bros doing something like this. This is all interesting and exciting information.

Burning_Spear

#16

Burning_Spear said:

This could be used in a Mario platformer, for example. Each game would come with a figurine of Mario, Luigi, Bowser, etc., and the figurine would transmit specific levels to the console, like with the StreetPass exchange of the box levels in SM3DL. Then you could trade figurines with a friend to get additional levels.

Rapadash6

#17

Rapadash6 said:

I think this is the feature that the Street Fighter producer guy was talking about. A lot of potential with this technology.

dizzy_boy

#18

dizzy_boy said:

if nintendo did haxe the option to use credit/debit cards. i would bet that they would have some sort of security feature like a pin or password.i doubt that they would allow payments to be taken automatically.

rjejr

#20

rjejr said:

My first thought was - Good, I won't have to buy that extra stand for Skylanders now and we'll wait until next Christmas to get it.
My second thought was - Oh no! Nintendo is going to release SSB the same way with only 3 people in the game and you have to buy separate characters to get all the rest. Which makes perfect sense for the games main conceit but I don't want to pay $300 for the next SSB game.

RaylaxStaff

#23

Raylax said:

So long as this doesn't mean I'm going to have to start hoarding all the plastic overpriced tat (that collectors seem to deem valuable) that usually gets released in small collector's retailers to promote a game, I'm cool with that.

Punny

#25

Punny said:

@NintyFan: I can totally picture that! It will add more replay value, much like the AR Card feature in Kid Icarus Uprising!

Ichabod

#26

Ichabod said:

I'm "eh" about this. Sure, it avoids having to punch in the numbers for your Wii points, but moving towards the Skylanders scheme en mass? No thank you. I'd rather just have the option for DLC if they are going to charge you for more characters. Nintendo doesn't need another gimmick. Just give us good games! lol

motang

#27

motang said:

Interesting addition, hopefully it will get multi-touch and a capacitive screen.

eviLaTtenDant

#28

eviLaTtenDant said:

Meaning AR and QR wii get more use than on the 3DS atm ? Good idea to make things easier and more convenient. Hopefully doesn't lead to heaps of expandable DLC.

grimbldoo

#29

grimbldoo said:

@Joco84 they would probably set the Wii U to ignore anything that isn't in the context of what it is doing and there would also have to be a confirmation, those touch and go cards have to be considerable close to the receiver to work.

Jahir

#30

Jahir said:

@k8sMum: But it's a japanese corporation, very much different than a corporation from the USA (e.g. some of us got 20 free games :P).

rjejr

#31

rjejr said:

um, Jahir, you got 20 games for $80 (the difference in price between $249 and $169), that's hardly "free", it's more like $4 per game. Sure they didn't have to, but they didn't want to wind up in the same situation as Apple which gave each customer $100 for the iPhone price drop. I'ld be happy to get 20 games, but $80 is better. Better enough that we bought three 3DS in Dec. Would have bought ZERO at $249 w/ 20 free games.

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