Nintendo shook things up in the gaming world once again by announcing that it's Wii U controller knows a new trick: Near Field Communication (NFC). With contact-less tech, Nintendo plans to create new gaming experiences with NFC cards, figurines and even have the controller accept micro payments.
As if having a controller with a screen wasn't going to bring about all forms of new gameplay ideas, Nintendo's addition of NFC to the Wii U controller was quite a shellshocker.
Even in the mobile market, NFC (in the U.S.) hasn't been widely adopted (yet). Google's pushed hard for NFC and its Google Wallet payment system, but we've yet to see it become ubiquitous.
Recently, Verizon went ahead and put a damper on things by nixing Google Wallet on the recent Galaxy Nexus.
Still, that doesn't mean Nintendo's NFC-enabled Wii U controller will be a bust. On the contrary, if you look at the success that Activision has had with its Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure game, where players swap RFID-equipped figurines onto a platform and bring them to life on the big screen, one might start to understand where Nintendo is headed.
Imagine Pokémon figures laid out on the Wii U controller to do battle or Yu-Gi-Oh! or Magic card duels happening on screen.
The possibility to bridge the physical collection craze with video games opens all sorts of new doors.
Nintendo's other outlook for NFC with the Wii U controller is for micro payments. In theory, Nintendo could accept smartphones and payment cards with NFC built-in rather than credit cards. This would provide an easy and safe method for minors to get onboard micro transactions, without using up mom or dad's plastic. (We told you Nintendo was gearing up to nickel and dime us all).
We'll have to wait for more details from Nintendo, but so far, the discussion seems to be positive on Nintendo's NFC move. Now, Nintendo just needs to make sure the price for the Wii U isn't crazy expensive and add support for a second tablet controller.