Posted on January 31 2013 by Colin McIsaac
Have you ever wondered what that bizarre little rectangle on the left-hand side of your Wii U GamePad was? That’s called an NFC sensor. NFC, or Near-Field Communication, is a method by which two pieces of technology can interact through radio communication. It’s the technology that allows smartphones to send photos from one to another when you hold them close together and give them a flick of the finger. The NFC sensor in the Wii U GamePad was revealed at last year’s E3, but we haven’t heard much of it since.
According to yesterday’s investor meeting, Nintendo is bringing NFC experiences to the Wii U “by the end of the year.” We’ve seen a glimpse of how NFC works in Rayman Legends, arriving next month, but we haven’t heard a word on the subject since. Nintendo says that NFC can be used for figurines and cards to work with a game, so what do you think they’re planning? Could there be a Wii U tie-in to the Pokémon Trading Card Game on the way? Nintendo is also looking into the use of NFC for digital money on the eShop, which means that adding funds may no longer require lengthy codes—a simple tap of the card and you’re good to go! I think NFC is by far one of the most undervalued features of the Wii U so far, and I think there are many wonderful experiences to be had if they continue in this direction.