The Wii U news keeps coming in as 2012 is getting off to a fast start for Nintendo. At the recent investors meeting in Japan, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata outlined some new things concerning the Wii U's online component and how it will communicate in close proximity with Near Field Communication. The possibilities are huge if implemented correctly but here are the details so far:
"Already by now, the Wii U is known for its new controller with a screen, among other features. For this controller, please be advised that we have decided to install a NFC function.
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."
"As the final topic of today, I’d like to spend a little time talking about the new network service from Nintendo, which has something to do with the subject of micropayments using NFC that I have just mentioned.
As those of you who have enjoyed playing “Mario Kart 7” that we launched late last year should know, its online competition mode includes the system called “Communities.” Each player can create his or her own online “Community” and decide the rules and conditions of the races to be conducted there, and anyone who enters the designated “Community number,” can join to enjoy the matches there. With that system, the company is offering a new kind of network service, which is different from the network services Nintendo has been offering under the name of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
For “Mario Kart 7,” we have already started using as the name of this new network service…"
…“Nintendo Network” ServiceThe Nintendo Network service is our network platform which will cover the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U.
Unlike Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, which has been focused upon specific functionalities and concepts, we are aiming to establish a platform where various services available through the network for our consumers shall be connected via Nintendo Network service so that the company can make comprehensive proposals to consumers.
For example, competitions and communication among users, as well as the sales of digital content, will be covered within the Nintendo Network."
"The “Community” matches of “Mario Kart 7” that I have just referred to is one example. As for the sales of downloadable add-on content, “Tobidasu Pricla Kiradeco Revolution” (Japanese title), which Nintendo has already started the download sales to the owners of the Nintendo 3DS, is the first title for which consumers can purchase and download add-on content. We will make available the downloadable add-on content for this Nintendo first-party digital download title in the near future. As for the download sales of add-on content for packaged software, it is expected that “THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY,” which is scheduled to be launched on February 16 by Square Enix Co., Ltd. is going to be the first software title for which applicable music will be sold by Square Enix as downloadable add-on content. While we are on this subject, when we discuss anything relating to add-on content, our remarks are very often reported by the media by their attaching such modifiers or notes as “the ones used for social games.” Please note that Nintendo, as a software maker, does not plan to deploy businesses where our consumers cannot know in advance which item will appear as the result of their payment and they have to repeat the payments and, before they know it, they end up spending a huge amount of money in order to obtain the items they originally wanted to purchase. As a software maker, Nintendo believes that its packaged software should be sold to our consumers in a form so that the consumers will know in advance that they can enjoy playing the software they purchased just as it is. We believe that our consumers will be able to feel more secure if we offer our add-on content as an additional structure in which those who love the game will be able to enjoy it in a deeper way for a prolonged play time."
It looks like Nintendo is hitting the floor running with these announcements. I like the idea of having multiple user accounts per system instead of just one for all the family, making for less confusion on who bought what with who's money. The Near Field Communication sounds extremely awesome since making payments with a Credit Card can be a hassle with always re-entering numbers etc. The idea of putting your card near the controller would fix those issues really quick and the account would not even need to save the information if it just reads it instantly each time you use it, thus making security even better. Great news all around!