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Wii U Has NFC Functionality Built In

by Jeff Cork on Jan 27, 2012 at 03:43 AM

Word that a new Mario game was coming to the 3DS was the big news from Nintendo's financial results presentation last night, but that wasn't the only point of interest. During the presentation, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed that the upcoming Wii U will have communications technology built into the hardware that could lead to some fairly significant applications.

During the presentation, Iwata announced that the Wii U will support NFC functionality. Here's what he had to say:

"As many of you know, NFC is the acronym for Near Field Communication, which is a set of standards to establish radio communication in close proximity. The NFC I’m referring to here is the noncontact NFC standard that is compatible with FeliCa and MIFARE, and is expected to be widely used around the world in the near future.

"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."

NFC is used widely overseas, and is often built into smartphones. Once bank accounts are linked to supported devices, users can make small payments such as subway fares by positioning their phones near a sensor. NFC technology is also used in Activision's Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.

Pokémon sounds like it would be a perfect application for an NFC component. Just image if all those figures you collected actually did something within a game.