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Miyamoto: Harnessing NFC On Wii U Is Our Priority Right Now

Posted by Damien McFerran

Nintendo's Senior Managing Director also talks dual GamePad support

Super Mario creator and Nintendo Senior Managing Director Shigeru Miyamoto has revealed a little more about his company's plans for the Wii U console, and NFC features quite heavily.

Speaking with Polygon, Miyamoto stressed that NFC is going to happen in a big way on the Wii U:

With NFC, that's a feature that everyone that owns a Wii U can take advantage of. So that's what we're putting our priorities right now. We're hoping that in the near future we'll be able to show you something that will take advantage of the NFC on Wii U and people will be able to enjoy that.

He also shed a little light on the future of multiplayer gaming on the console:

With regards to the two GamePads functionality, from a gaming system standpoint we are developing games that will have that capability. In the future, perhaps when we get closer to something that, an environment where everybody or a large majority of people would have two GamePads, that might be a time where we look at how we can leverage a system of that nature.

Are you excited about the possibilities of NFC tech on the Wii U, or does the notion of using more than one GamePad interest you? Leave a comment to let us know.

[via polygon.com]

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User Comments (70)

DestinyMan

#1

DestinyMan said:

It should be their priority. The technology can have a cool opportunity for creativity like the AR in the 3DS. It also makes you think about what games might really benefit.

fortius54

#3

fortius54 said:

This could be the saving grace or boost the system needs. NFC with Pokemon figures would be a game that would sell systems. It would set them up for years to comes as well considering how many of them there are. Can you imagine bringing main Pokemon game play to the console market with little toys? The pocket book for most parents would be in trouble.

NintendoNaut

#4

NintendoNaut said:

Sad to hear. NFC should be the last thing on Nintendo's "priority" list. I don't want to buy stupid little figurines for in-game content. What's next, having to buy figures to unlock Smash Bros. characters?

SMW

#5

SMW said:

I cannot think of a single reason I'd enjoy NFC, but I know that Nintendo will find some. :D

edhe

#6

edhe said:

@NintendoNaut

Collectable figurines are just one of the applications of NFC.

There are, of course other uses. If you are familiar with the 3DS, you'll know streetpass is one such application. No breaking the bank buying figurines there.

Oscarsome

#7

Oscarsome said:

What can NFC do to benefit games in a way that's, well, better than having to buy little figurines? I find that a waste of money and just terrible. I do not want to have to keep buying and buying little figurines or cards just to play a game. That game just seems like it would be a very mediocre title if it relied on NFC.

baba_944

#8

baba_944 said:

Anyone realize that there is more to NFC than figurines? Remember the E-reader from GBA?

DrKarl

#10

DrKarl said:

"...environment where everybody or a large majority of people would have two GamePads, that might be a time where we look at how we can leverage a system of that nature."

So, Nintendo won't develop a game until enough people purchase two gamepads? Why would anyone be compelled to purchase a second pad if no games support it? This is chicken and the egg...

shake_zula

#11

shake_zula said:

If Nintendo release a figurine/NFC-based Pokemon game I may as well kill myself. I'll be bankrupt and selling my body on the street within a month.

Ryno

#14

Ryno said:

Why does the quality of that picture look like it was scanned back in 1999 from one of my issues of Nintendo Power's from 1991?

MadJay1664

#16

MadJay1664 said:

Multiple gamepads would be great for split screen vs games because you then can't see where eachother are!!

ThreadShadow

#17

ThreadShadow said:

This is why Ubisoft can't talk about Legends NFC tech/ideas, I'd say. Nintendo wants to be first with one of their games.

Kyloctopus

#18

Kyloctopus said:

I had no idea Miyamoto was Seinor Managing Director.
It sounds like Wii U Gameplay really evolves over time, in ways that I can barely wait for.

aaronsullivan

#19

aaronsullivan said:

NFC and Pokemon seem like a good match, but I'd like the whole Nintendo universe of characters involved I think. Smash Bros. could have ITEM accessories (in the box, btw) that you'd actually have to physically brawl your friends over during the game.

He has a good point about EVERY WIi U owner having an NFC reader. Lowers the barrier to entry on buying figurines. Also, these things could work across multiple games. Many possibilities.

People would be getting two GamePads by having friends and family that also have a Wii U. More sales needed first, not more people BUYING two GamePads.

I wanted the Wii U to have multiple GamePads back when it was a rumor that the controllers would have screens. I was thinking Four Swords, board games, etc. I was a bit disappointed to see only one. Possibilities are pretty awesome with more than one, but the GamePad is way more impressive than I expected and expensive, so it's a bit trickier now.

Jukilum

#20

Jukilum said:

NFC stands for Near Fields Communication, not Neat Figurine Collectables. There are many other applications for the technology.

Realgamer4life

#21

Realgamer4life said:

As I have watched Nintendo's release of the WII U I have put together random thoughts and if Nintendo would love to use my ideas I don't mind sharing I just want a check because I just figured a way to help them boost there sells well maybe.

1. NFC what people don't realize is there are many uses of the NFC technology that transcends just games. If you remember the WIIU demo there was a part where there was a family watching tv then someone swiped there finger on the gamepad and then the video of a bird popped up on there TV. Imagine Nintendo gets movie studios to put movies on a card that houses an NFC chip swipe it on the game pad and send it to the TV.

Lets look at the recent news that there is a cartridge for the 3ds that allows it to connect to the WII U perhaps that is there NFC technology being used. Lets imagine that on that 3ds game it can transfer game data to the WII U and be updated to 720 P or higher resolution. It may sound far fetched maybe not but Nintendo"s divisions shocked everyone with the combining that they did. Some saw that as a pure business move to minimize profit loss. I saw it as an opportunity to maximize ideas give birth to new connectivity.
If Nintendo were to do this and get the 3ds and the WII U to connect flawlesly Sony couldn't match that.

2. WII U gamepad they indicate they have been exploring ways to get multiple game pads to work flawlessly .
What if they updated the gamepad to incorporate the same processor the 3ds houses this would add additional power to allow for multiple gamepads to function and free up additional processing power for the WII U. That Idea may sound crazy but imagine this processor extends the range of the gamepad and allowes it to function as a portable of sorts. You can have cards that have a NFC chip in them that contain games that you can play. Also my biggest gripe with football games is people see your plays. Sports fans would eat the two game pads up.

If they do this then incorporate and buy up or buy back program since the WII U numbers are low enough. You could have the option to buy the upgraded game pad and send your old one in for a free upgrade. Now they sold a extra gamepad and brought new ways to play.
This would sell because now you can have split screen' and two off screen controllers and that would be awesome for multi player games.

Jaco

#22

Jaco said:

@Realgamer4life If what you said is true about the 3ds cartridge being able to connect to the wiiu is true, I would love to see a way to play certain supported games on the WiiU. Heck maybe thats what they are doing with the new Smash Bros.

Also, as others have pointed out above me, NFC does not mean figurines. Skylanders just popularized that. But what I think would be cool would be Pokemon cards with the capability to connect to the wiiu in a whole new game. Cards are cheaper to make than figurines and it also brings back the card collecting that was so popular way back when it was popular at a time when i was a kid and loved that stuff

Tony_342

#23

Tony_342 said:

I'm sure Nintendo will come up with some very cool ways to use the NFC technology in the GamePad. But it seems to me that their top priority right now should be, you know...getting some big, amazing games out as soon as possible.

Emaan

#24

Emaan said:

I really would like to see both features realized sometime soon. Two GamePads is nearly a must, and the NFC functionality opens up interesting gameplay possibilities.

fortius54

#26

fortius54 said:

Well, you may talk all you want about not wanting to buy figurines, but Nintendo will bring either cards or figurines to the Wii U. Skylanders has done to well for them not to. I know there are other applications for NFC, but they have to find a way to monetize it. They need sales of systems, and a Pokemon NFC based games would sell systems maybe without having to lower the price of it.

klautrec

#27

klautrec said:

Well let's wait then. I only hope this isn't related to miyamoto's project, or Retro's.

klautrec

#28

klautrec said:

@DrKarl He said Nintendo is already developing games that supports 2 gamepads, that will make people look for another gamepad to buy, if in the future, a lot of people have 2 gamepads in their homes, they can make the experience even better developing content that will focus primarily on the use of multiple pads. :)

3dbrains

#29

3dbrains said:

we dont want to buy another gamepad. we just want to be able to take ours to a friends house and play on their wiiu with them.

DarkNinja9

#30

DarkNinja9 said:

i could careless about having to buy figurines for a game =/ but if they use the same tech in another way im curious o.o anyway im still thinking on how they can use 2 gamepads for a game o: but buying another one ugh no thx

NImH

#31

NImH said:

If Nintendo put out Mario and Zelda figurines, all'a y'all (including myself) would be all over it... a load of little Pikmin... little red magic mushrooms... a fire flower pot... Nintendo would be all over my house.
I know @SpaceKappa feels me. :D

AaronB

#32

AaronB said:

I'm intrigued by what they could do with it, but there are other things I would consider a higher priority. Everyone knows the Wii U needs some big games urgently, but it's great if they can get other people working on NFC stuff that won't slow down Mario Kart/SSB/Wii U Sports (often overlooked by Nintendo fans, but don't forget how crucial it was to the Wii's popularity).

Bottom line, Skylanders earned 500 million dollars, and they didn't have the advantage of characters nearly as famous as Nintendo's. A very appealing NFC-related game or app could be just the kind of thing that gets some customers to want the Wii U despite release hype for PS4 and 720 this holiday season. I just hope they come up with something where the cards or figurines aren't too expensive.

Dpishere

#34

Dpishere said:

Should be interesting to see how they utilize this in future releases. Knowing them, it should turn out pretty cool.

Gidkilla

#35

Gidkilla said:

Games Nintendo, thats the priority. Remember back when the N64 was released and launch was delayed so they could get Mario 64 right? Thats the kind of Nintendo prioritising we all deserve.

JuanitoShet

#36

JuanitoShet said:

I was thinking the exact same thing that many people here in the Comments have thought so far. I don't think that Nintendo would only use this technology to make figurine-dependent games. I mean, really? IT'S NINTENDO! Nintendo, the company that's always looking for new ideas and trying to be unique.

Why can't you trust them to do something that's yet to be seen (or to be seen in a major scale) when they've got this technology in their hands? I'd say people should have more trust in them.

I know I would. (I don't own a Wii U.)

JSuede

#37

JSuede said:

Everyone is focused on figurines for Pokemon.....why not just start making Pokemon cards with NFC tech on them? Give the Pokecard battle a massive resurgence.

Treat it like Pokemon Stadium/Colosseum....scan the card to bring your Pokemon into the battle, energy cards to let them attack, heal etc. People would be much more likely to buy a pack of cards for $8 or whatever than spend that much/more on figurines that take up a lot of space. I would go bananas over that and I'm 25. Still have all of my old Pokemon cards too.

Just as long as they don't pull a Skylanders and make NFC figurines mandatory to unlock on-disc stuff that is otherwise unobtainable. The example above would work nicely in an open world game where you can either spend time finding, catching and training your pokemon, or you can buy cards. It should have a card battle mode separate from trainer battle so that it doesn't necessarily become "pay to win."

I should stop.....I could ramble on forever about this.....

TheAdza

#39

TheAdza said:

I wouldn't mind some cool Nintendo figurines. Especially if it means more money coming Nintendos way then I don't really care how they do it.

TheAdza

#40

TheAdza said:

Also Card Wars from Adventure Time. Someone somewhere should make that game.

TwilightV

#41

TwilightV said:

Nintendo recently signed a toy/merchandise deal for it's various franchises with Jakks Pacific. Maybe this is why?

Also, his name is Nonspecific Action Figure, not Non-Specific. Just saying. :V

Beta

#43

Beta said:

I wouldn't mind figurines since they would finally give me a reason to collect more Nintendo stuff ^_^

MegaWattsAdmin

#44

MegaWatts said:

If Nintendo wants to get a second GamePad into people's homes, I think they'd need to develop a game that specifically uses it and then bundle it in (as per the Balance Board).

Even then, two GamePads is never going to be the norm for most consumers, so I can't see too much being done in this area. Still, if they can create a few extra modes that use it in certain games, that'd be swell!

Yellowgerbil

#45

Yellowgerbil said:

Maybe they can include mini games in the models and create the NFC app so it will play it. After being dowloaded to the console,it would not work on another console and you would still have mini figures.

Big_L91

#46

Big_L91 said:

the thing with NFC is obviously it will be used for things like cards and figurines which cost money but im not to worried if nintendo release a game like this i personally see it being free to play and just the figures cost

cornishlee

#47

cornishlee said:

That's their priority?!?

Didn't they say the only included it as an afterthought because it was cheap and they could?

Of all the thing's that Nintendo's said over the years, this one has confused and concerned me most. I sincerely hope those quotes are taken out of context.

Mk_II

#48

Mk_II said:

@cornishlee only a priority when compared to developing games for two Gamepads. Context is everything

I'd be very surprised if we see more than 1 or two games that support two GamePads in a meaningful way . The installed base will be so small that it doesnt make economic sense to develop them.

GiftedGimp

#49

GiftedGimp said:

2 gamepads will be cool, I know that gamepads are coming to retail as a accessory, but not when.
I suspect Ninty will bundle the controller with a game that allows 2 gamepads, and has multiplayer to support 6 players, maybe Nintendoland2 or other High profile franchise like possibly Mario Kart, when they are available.
Downside Price estimates are between £80-£100

KAHN

#50

KAHN said:

this shouldn't be at the top of their priority list. i'm not interested in buying stupid figures or plushies for content. i get enough of that crap when i play webkinz.

GiftedGimp

#51

GiftedGimp said:

Its woth noting, Sooner or Later the Analog sticks are going to wear, those with xbox's know Controllers dont last more than 6 months before the sticks have excessive dead zones or lose responsivness, Ps3 controllers have more durability my last one lasted 12 months but really needed replacing.. How durable are the WiiU analog sticks, Time will tell, but as I say sooner or later a replacment will be needed, and many people will by a spare for when that happens.
In the end A majority of WiiU owners will have 2 Controlpads, even if one isn't in top condition, so making games that support 2 controlpads wont be an issue, and will probably become the norm for multiplayer games.

RedYoshi999

#52

RedYoshi999 said:

I would actually like to see some use of NFC as it just sits there, useless on the GamePad. 2 GamePads would of course be awesome too!

@GiftedGimp
That's an interesting point. I could totally see Nintendo bundling a GamePad with Mario Kart just like they bundled a Wii Wheel with Mario Kart Wii. They said they're working on 6 player games so I definitely expect that Mario Kart will take advantage of that!

Omarsonic9

#53

Omarsonic9 said:

Swiping eShop Cards on the Wii U Gamepad will be cool!
Or other stuff :D
Nintendo will have many ideas with this!
LONG LIVE WII U! (Yes I know it's not alive)

DrKarl

#58

DrKarl said:

@klautrec That's not how I am parsing it. I read his statement as:

They are adding in support as a side feature to some titles. Only if there is enough installed base, would they consider adding it as a main feature.

While the former may be interesting and fun, the latter is what I want to see.

rjejr

#59

rjejr said:

Pokepark 3.

SSBU would be an obvious choice though. Hopefully they can reach a happy medium where you get a dozen characters in the game and then only additional characters are needed to purchase. (Sony is still releasing pairs of new characters for PSASBR, no toys.)

And before they start worrying about TWO Gamepads in each home how about worrying about getting ONE Gamepad in each home? ie release some games.

AlexSora89

#60

AlexSora89 said:

Shigeru. Satoru. Oh, what the heck, I'm saying this to Nintendo as a whole.

You don't need to do this just because Ubisoft backstabbed you with Rayman Legends in order to get you to hurry up with NFC. Rayman Skylanders can wait 'till next century for all I care!

Dpullam

#61

Dpullam said:

I am really looking forward to seeing what they come up with in support of NFC. Nintendo has had some pretty innovative ideas over the years and if they can come up with a good use for NFC it could greatly improve game experiences as long as it doesn't seem forced. Plus, you can always count on Miyamoto.

FineLerv

#63

FineLerv said:

Please don't. On one hand they're pushing digital downloads so I can finally have less crap in my house, on the other hand they want me to buy toys.

LordessMeep

#64

LordessMeep said:

As someone who relies on the eShop to get her retail titles, this is very bad news. I haven't found very many online retailers that are reliable and have decent shipping charges. In several cases, I've had the total cost come up to close to double the price of the game I'm importing... which is why I rely on the eShop now. I can only imagine what happens if figurines/cards are added into the mix. :(
Now I don't have a problem if figurines are added on as an extra and are not required to 100% a game. But once NFC becomes central to gameplay, that's when I'll start shunning the game.
While I'm scared by the idea of more figurines, I'm also intrigued by what Nintendo can come up with. I do hope they have some innovative ways take advantage of this technology.

AlexSora89

#65

AlexSora89 said:

I've also noticed "Pokémon" among the comments. Why did I get a shiver down my spine? Oh, right, because the grand total of creatures exceed a whopping 600 at the moment. NFC for Master Balls could work, but for the pogeys themselves? Not a chance.

Blue-Thunder

#66

Blue-Thunder said:

So shigs is now "Senior Managing Director" of Nintendo. I see this issue in a lot of company's. A person is excellent at their job, so what does the company do? Take them out of that job and put them in another job, where they are probably not half as good at their new job as they were at their old job and probably totally out of their dept. Just make games Shigs and cut the bull. Get Hiroshi Yamauchi grandson in to run the company he might know what he's at.

gohanrage

#68

gohanrage said:

I don't see the point of NFC I don't want to be forced to buy a bunch of toys. in order to access characters that should be in the game to begin with

JSuede

#69

JSuede said:

@AlexSora89 Having the figurines for pokemon would be ridiculous.....but would do extremely well in Japan.

I feel like the cards would be a better fit here. Sell the packs, cheaper to make, cheaper to buy (but with large profit margins), take up less space and potentially reignite the card trading frenzy that happened when Pokemon first released

FullbringIchigo

#70

FullbringIchigo said:

Dear Miyamoto you make great games but your priority right now should be securing third party support and getting some games for our nice new machine NOT NFC

if company's are not willing to port games to the Wii U because of cost then propose making the port yourself to save them them cost but still letting the original publishers publish the game (i wonder how i could tell nintendo this)

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