Since summer this year gamers in Japan have been able to use a variety of NFC (near field communication) cards to buy content on the Wii U eShop; this includes commonly used cards such as the SUICA brand, which are often kept topped up by consumers for use on local transports services, for example. It's a quick and easy way to buy games, and an option that'd be welcome with equivalents in the West.
While we're yet to see this feature arrive outside of Nintendo's homeland, it's now confirmed that the recent 3DS system update has activated the same functionality on the New Nintendo 3DS, which has NFC built into the touch screen. A rather charming video advertising this feature is below.
Today's system update has also added the amiibo menu to the New Nintendo 3DS, which has the same functionality as the equivalent on Wii U, allowing you to delete data and re-name the figures. Though 3DS game support is promised none are active yet, though the fact that the menu is now available suggests its début — likely in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS — can't be far away.
While Australia and New Zealand have the New Nintendo 3DS, other countries outside of Japan are still waiting; our money is still on a full Western release prior to the end of the financial year — this would get the inevitable burst of sales on the books, and if that's right it would arrive before 31st March. Until Nintendo confirms a release date, however, that's only speculation.