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.
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