Nintendo of Japan is preparing to let consumers use their Wii U console to make electronic payments via the consoles near field communication functionality. The ability to use your Wii U GamePad to make electronic transactions using the NFC reader would allow Wii U owners to make purchases with touch based payment cards, such as Suica. Japanese consumers use NFC Cards to make payments at their local store or to pay for their train faire.
Nintendo has released a trailer of Pokémon Rumble U in the Japanese Nintendo eShop for Wii U. In the game, up to 100 Pokémon and four players can simultaneously appear on the same TV screen. When it releases in Japan next week, on April 24th, Pokémon Rumble U will be the first Wii U game to use the Wii U GamePad’s NFC feature. Nintendo has yet to announce international release dates for the game.
The latest issue of CoroCoro Comic reveals that the first Wii U game to use NFC is Pokémon Rumble U, which launches in Japan next month, on April 24th. On the same day the game is out, consumers in Japan can purchase Pokémon figures from Pokémon Center stores that appear in Pokémon Rumble U via the Wii U GamePad’s NFC feature. The Pokémon figures resemble their toy counterparts in the Pokémon Rumble series, and they will cost 200 Yen each, which is roughly $2.
Legendary games designer Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that the company is set to reveal its NFC plans in the near future. Miyamoto believes that near field communication functionality is something that every Wii U owner can take advantage off, so that’s where they are putting their priorities right now. Here’s what Miyamoto had to say on the subject:
“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.”
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has explained to investors and analysts just how they intend to implement Near Field Communication technology with Wii U. Iwata reconfirmed that we should see some NFC based software later this year that will showcase exactly how the functionality will work on Wii U. He concluded by saying that since they have made a certain investment in order to install NFC, they will make efforts to at least receive a return on their investments. Here’s what he said.
“First of all, there are two main directions when it comes to the use of NFC. One is to use it for video games. For example, we can create cards and figurines with NFC and design our video games to work in conjunction with them. Also, an increasing number of arcade games are utilizing IC cards which can read and write data in order to record users’ scores and it is possible for Wii U games to connect with them. We are in talks with several software developers regarding such possibilities. We are making preparations and, by the end of this year, we will probably be able to show you some output, tell you about some more concrete examples of the possibilities or even let you try out some tangible examples. The other direction is e-money. In Japan e-money called FeliCa is widely used, and FeliCa is included in NFC. Technically, it is possible to settle an account by waving an e-money card over the Wii U GamePad. We are conducting research into this right now as one of this technology’s future possibilities. We will make an announcement when we are ready to discuss a more detailed plan. Since we have made a certain investment in order to install NFC, we will make efforts to at least receive a return on our investment.”
During Nintendo’s fiscal call Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told analysts that they are hard at work developing a game that will utilise Near Field Communication. There weren’t any hints regarding what the game might be, but it should be coming by the end of the year. A Pokemon title using figures and cards would sound like a safe bet. What would you like to see?
NFC on wiiu – said 1) can be used for games with figures/cards working with game, making preparations in that direction ,say by end of yr
- David Gibson, Senior Research Analyst
Rayman Legends Creative Director Michel Ancel is a firm believer in near field communication and thinks that eventually the technology could be put to innovative uses. Ancel demonstrated the possibilities of the feature during an early Rayman Legends trailer, but he claims that it was just an experiment.
“We didn’t announce this officially and it was more the kind of experiment we do when working on new hardware like the Wii U. We had prototypes of this and we believe that having real objects manipulating gameplay could be quite innovative. But again, this was a prototype and we won’t discuss it until it’s ready to demonstrate its full potential.”
There are over 50 launch window games confirmed for Wii U but, apparently, none of them will use the Wii U GamePad’s NFC reader, including Rayman Legends and Skylanders Giants. Nintendo prodct manager Bill Trinen thinks developers may start implementing the feature in future Wii U projects.
“That is a new tech, particularly with it being available in the U.S. A lot of the developers are wondering what are the options? How do we leverage it? As they start to come with their ideas, solutions and great content, we will talk more about it.”
“I don’t anticipate it will be too far out.”
-Bill Trinen, Nintendo product manager
Global fast food chain Burger King will supposedly begin selling meals with Wii U toys on October 25th. According to a rumor, the toys will be NFC-integrated and can function with the Wii U GamePad; for example, if the toys are for Nintendo Land, a player can place a toy on the new controller’s NFC reader to unlock exclusive content such as special Mii characters.