The Wii U GamePad includes an NFC chip — Near Field Communications — which allows it to interact with real-life objects that have NFC chips in them. The Wii U NFC technology was first showcased with a trailer for Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends. In the trailer, players used small figurines and (non-specific action figures) which connected with the NFC in the controller and added to the gameplay. Players were able to place a figure on the controller, where after it “morphed” into the game.
There are certainly a lot of possibilities with this kind of technology, especially since a lot of modern smartphones have built-in NFC. And how many of the 50 Wii U launch window games will support NFC? None. That’s according to Nintendo themselves.
Nintendo product manager Bill Trinen told The Verge that none of the currently announced 50+ games for the Wii U support NFC. He added that since this is a new and emerging technology, it’ll take some times before developers can figure out how to best use it. But it won’t be too far out in the future, as he puts it, “I don’t anticipate it will be too far out”.
The NFC chip is built into the Wii U tablet controller, and can be found in the lower left corner, under the D-pad. These chips are very popular among smartphones for things such as mobile payments and quick data sharing. We’re a bit surprised that none of Nintendo’s first party titles are using it — Nintendo does just add hardware features to its consoles and leaves them unused, especially since production costs were so important this time around with the Wii U.