Nintendo to Use Wii U’s NFC Capability for Easy Payments, but Only in Japan

One of the GamePads forgotten features finally gets some use.

Wii U owners in Japan will be able to pay for eShop items by touching money cards to their GamePads starting next week, Nintendo has announced.

Cards like Suica, Toica, Pasmo, and others used in different parts of Japan are embedded with chips that allow you to pay for public transportation and make purchases at convenience stores simply by swiping them by a reader.

Japanese Wii U owners will now be able to make Nintendo eShop purchases similarly by swiping the participating cards by the console’s GamePad, which has built-in NFC (near field communication) capability.

Nintendo hasn’t said if and when it will make a similar feature available in other territories.

If you forgot that your Wii U even included this NFC feature it’s because Nintendo hasn’t done much with it since the console launched. However, that may change soon with the release Amiibo, a Skylanders-like Toys to Life product line Nintendo revealed at E3 2014.

Pressing a real-life Amiibo action figure against the Wii U GamePad will conjure up a character in Super Smash Bros. that can assist you, spar against you, or even take part in Amiibo vs. Amiibo fights.

Nintendo also said it will release a peripheral in 2015 that will allow Amiibo figures to work with 3DS titles. Alongside Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U, Amiibo will support Mario Kart 8, though Nintendo is yet to explain how that will work. Many upcoming Nintendo games will also support the service.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

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Written By

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.

Discussion

38 comments
butcherchop
butcherchop

Google Wallet please. A tap from my Nexus 5? That would be great.

Immortallix
Immortallix

Don't know how it is in Japan, but I feel if we had Suica cards here in the US then identity theft would go up a ton. The tech seems really simple so what's to stop someone from carrying around a NFC device in their pocket that takes everyone's accounts?

rarerichz
rarerichz

what do they mean forgotten feature? , does that mean gamespot forgot it.

btroof
btroof

another reason why the Gamepad is the best controller out

ggregd
ggregd

They should be available because Smart Cards have been used in Europe for years and the US all credit cards will have the chips by October 2015. (Thanks to 40 million people having their card data stolen from Target..

pork7
pork7

FAIL, we want more cool games.

pork7
pork7

Stupid idea.....how bout some cool games???

megakick
megakick

Better to keep it in Japan americans to stupid, blame others and like SUE SUE & SUE!

Piris
Piris

That sounds like a really cool idea.

Metallicwolf29
Metallicwolf29

But there's not much to buy on the eshop right now

Gazz64
Gazz64

I personally think its a bad idea, we have Wave Pay in NZ. You don't have to punch in a pin number or anything,  just wave your eft pos/credit card past the till and its done, too much of a temptation for thieves. Not to mention the kids getting hold of your card!

yellowsanchez
yellowsanchez

payments options should vary by region. if japan gets this then i assume it is easier for them to do it this way

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Credit card reader on your gamepad?

Cxera
Cxera

Kind of taking funny money to a new level...

adsparky
adsparky

I prefer the cards with that thing you need to scratch but more options are always welcome.

zyxahn
zyxahn

I could be missing something here but it's not really that much of a pain to use the method we have.

guydude3412
guydude3412

They should do this with phones that have nfc

Random_Matt
Random_Matt

Nintendo don't give a crap about area's outside Japan, hence the region locking, no localised games for us (was looking to have Fatal Frame) and hence the low number of western developers.

RossRichard
RossRichard

I would still rather the pro controller.

pongley
pongley

I guess that does away with the whole "Ask your parent's permission" thing.

wheres_my_phone
wheres_my_phone

Most people keep them in their wallets, so there's no way you could do that unless your stole their wallet

Babugee
Babugee

@zyxahn Some people don't want their card info stored on the servers due to hacks like Sony. With this you don't need to punch in your 16 digits every time :D

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@zyxahn Seriously, it's like 3 clicks to buy a game on Steam.  So difficult!

trugs26
trugs26

@pongley I wouldn't be surprised if you could disable it in the parental settings.

r31ya
r31ya

@pongley, supposedly that's cash card not credit card. 

It has finite amount of fund/cash depending on how much the parent's fills it. When it runs out of fund/cash it simply stop function and they have to ask the parents to fills it or transfer money into it.


Gazz64
Gazz64

@wheres_my_phone Its a proximity thing, they only need to get close. You can get special shielded cases to keep your cards in though.

RabidBurp
RabidBurp

@xboxdynasty8

Problem with touch payment methods is that it will be even EASIER for thieves to steal our hard-earned money.

chillin_krillin
chillin_krillin

@xboxdynasty8 I'm gonna be real honest with ya. There are alot of games on the E-shop, some new some old. but the newer stuff I can usually get anywhere else, and the classic games are for one, worth a pretty penny, fair, but still too much for me, and I already own most on my 3ds or actual classic console. After a week or two the "massive" variety comes to a screeching halt once you seen just about everything. And with the new bigger titles still months away from release, I feel like my wii u, as much as I love it, may collect a few bits of dust here and there. We need more selection. I'd rather have 3 games I love than a thousand I'd rather skip.

wheres_my_phone
wheres_my_phone

They have to get really close for these cards tho. Even the scanners at train stations and stores can't read the cards unless they're placed right on the reader pretty much. If you have some plastic cards, money, or other materials between the card and the reader, it won't be able to pick it up. I'm sure peeps can steal it if the card is exposed,, and that there's tech to do it, but it's not easy.

Immortallix
Immortallix

@wheres_my_phone yeah but whats to stop someone from making their own longer range device that gets the cards info within a certain field?