Sep 14th, 2012

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.

Wii U NFC chipThere 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.


local_offer    NFC  Nintendo  Rayman Legends  technology  wii u  
  • Carlos Hugo

    I don’t think there will be a single Wii U game that will use every of the tools that the gamepad has to offer, but I think that with time every tool of the gamepad will be used.

    • epic

      hopefully Zelda will prove you wrong

      • JumpMan

        OH OH OH! you could buy Heart Containers for like $2 and they would add a heart to your health when on top of the Gamepad but not when off. so you couldn’t see the screen but you would have an extra heart!

        • Madmagican

          Now that would be too easy. Raise your standards please

          • JumpMan

            haha i know, just a spur-of-the-mo thought.

      • DURPAdurpa

        Isnt skylanders giants one of the games that are coming out during the launch window. Wouldnt it be more cost efficient to use the gamepad isnt of that alter thing they used in the first game.
        Just a thought

        • relo999

          But then EA will not be milking it costumers

          • theaquacharger

            activision not EA.

      • olimar

        Rayman Legends? :/

      • TheMan

        Maybe Zelda will send you a whole treasure chest with stuff you have no clue what to do with but when the time is right, you have to take these objects and place them on that NFC chip thing and youΒ΄ll be in for a surprise.

    • The_Beeshnu

      You know what you are both right!
      I dont know how that works though

  • Jetty

    Another notch on the Wii U belt.

    • Nintedward

      Actualy , NFC can read your credit card detail’s and burger king are making NDC toys ….. So NFC has use straight out of the box .

      Give developers a bit more time . Be grateful the gamepad HAS an NFC reader on it .

      Imagine swiping a future pokemon card onto it and the pokemon pops up into a battle arena!!!! one of many possibilities.

      • Nintedward

        It also read’s bar codes and tell’s you how badly you have been ripped off!
        (that was a lie)

        • Jetty

          Club Nintendo will utilize game’s bar codes for earning coins. This chip probably will become a necessity for all consoles. This would alleviate typing any “exclusive” codes. This is the direction technology is headed, I’m onboard. This will become the Wii U equivalent of Street Pass.

          • Nintedward

            thank you !! That’s really clever !! . Why type when you can scan!!! So many things are possible for NFC . the way kid icarus uprising reads AR cards , NFC could read NFC cards!

      • Jetty

        I’m aware and grateful. My sentence was an idiom. Nintendo may not have use for it during launch, just wait for Smash Bros. and Zelda. Have a nice day.

        • NavyBlueYoshi

          Greatest achivement in human history : creating a smash bros game that uses NFC

          • Grodus

            Its like DLC, But its “NF”C!

  • Opticine

    It’s okay, that’s why we have updates now.

  • Wils81

    That doesn’t mean we won’t get support from Wii U eShop titles. πŸ˜‰

  • EponaVsCrimsonLoftwing

    If DLC is priced, it might as well come with an action figure πŸ˜›

  • Draco Breach

    I’m sorry, but I find this particular ‘revelation’ a bit hard to swallow.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Skylanders has been using NFC for a while now to transport figurines into games – using a little base that’s hooked up to the console in question. I would imagine, therefore, that at the very least Skylanders Giants would utilize the NFC technology. Using a base for NFC when the GamePad is readily available seems like a waste of resources.

    If Ubisoft showed it off for Rayman Legends already, why would they suddenly drop it? If it was effectively just concept art, there was no reason to show it in a demo or preview.

    I’ll wait to see on this one, but it is a strange pronouncement.

    • knire

      accually, Skylanders use RFID for the figures, but i wish the wii u gamepad could substitute for the portal..

      • Draco Breach

        Ah, thanks for the correction.

        Still makes me wonder, though. RFID is fading rapidly in favor of the more efficient NFC. I’d also prefer Activision utilize the GamePad as a portal rather than having an extra base hooked to it.

  • DarthCoder

    I don’t know why developers would take so long though… NFC is pretty easy on Android and plenty of apps make good use of it.

  • Melk

    Imagine the possibilities…

    Using the NFC to pay eSHOP games…


  • SteampunkJedi

    I’ve never used NFC before. Looks to have potential, though.

  • CheckItNow12

    Eeeeh. 0 out of 50. I know that sometime, there WILL be a game that supports NFC, but I guess we will have to wait.


    imagine what pokemon would be like (: i no it wont happen but MINECRAFT ON THE WIIU what a game it would be

    • JumpMan

      my lord. HECK YES!

  • Kahhhhyle

    Its kinda gimmicky in smart phones but I’m surprised Activision didn’t use it for spyros thing… They prolly just wanted to charge you for that podium they use haha. Anyway does anybody else feel like we miiiiiight get ripped off by this? Making games then a dozen toys to nickel and dime us to death? I dunno maybe it’s just me but it would be cool if Nintendo could make it interact with our smartphones in some way.

  • Nintendo Power

    Developers need their time. PS what game should I get?

    • JumpMan

      i would get New Super Mario Bros. U if i could get another game (not NintendoLand) at launch!

    • Kahhhhyle

      According the the gamestop employee zombie u uses all the aspects of the wii u. So I would recommend that

      • Nintendonoob

        yes but I need my sleep… I dont wanna be scarred for life.

        • Kahhhhyle

          I’m simply relaying the information. Have you played ME3 yet? It’s awesome and long get that if you haven’t. If you have people who might wanna play with you get Mario bros U(I’m assuming you got the deluxe edition with Nintendo land). Personally I got zombie u and assassins Creed 3…oh an I forgot to mention if your in to online multilayer black ops 2 would be your best bet

  • logan7699

    its not official but Raymond already showed it being used and i can’t belive that it wont work for spyro…

  • Joesatmoes

    I am pretty sure that close to 0% of the actual games will make use of the NFC. I think its more for other Wii U features. e-shop points, maybe the Burger King stuff MIGHT make use of NFC for Miiverse or Nintendo Land (I know they said the games wont have it but who knows?)

  • mario lover

    I think the best possibility is on card based games, could u imagine playing card based games like yu gi oh, with two game pad, everyone had his own screen to store their card on the game pad, and the big screen for the table and the action on the figure. This way everyone can hide their card from other player.

  • Neonridr

    The easiest use for them is points cards (or whatever the Wii U uses). Instead of typing in long codes you can wave them in front of the NFC chip and the points balance is transferred to your account. Simple and effective.

    • Ben

      Also more expensive and it creates allot more trash. Right now they use Bio degradable paper that’s gone after a couple of months. NFC chips don’t do that. Also they could print the letters a bit bigger and then you need to hold the card in front of the camera and it would read that. Its easy and good for the world.

    • JumpMan

      if that doesn’t happen… i’ll just be really mad.

    • Game Master

      I like this idea alot πŸ™‚



  • Ben

    Since i saw the full controller and its been announced the little square is a nfc reader/writer i always wondered, how the freak can a little figure stand on that small space? And also, does using nfc means you cant use the gamepad as a controller, also wont it be a pain in the ass if you need to swap figures really fast and that they wont stay in place and are so “hard” to position right? Now you can say all those stuff are solved by using a card but i think that would be really annoying in a game like skylanders, you look at the figure for a sec and you know what it is, with cards you don’t see it that fast, you have to check every card to see if its the guy yo need. AND cards are less awesome than the little statues. πŸ˜€
    (It would be cool if they ever NFC in Lego city stories and the NFC chips are in Lego guy’s you can really use with your Lego’s. Or that they are a little bigger and if you like change the hat of them the hat would also change in the game.)

    • Draco Breach

      By ‘card’, some may be referring to the NFC chips found on most new credit cards or, even, cell phones.

      I’d like to address your worries about statuettes. In a game like Skylanders, you can simply program the game to ‘swap’ characters when a new statuette is swiped past the NFC chip on the GamePad. At the end of a level or ‘play session’, the game can simply ask you to swipe each statuette past the NFC chip again to ensure all the information matches – levels and stats and such.

      You could imagine Nintendo doing something similar with Pokemon. They can either introduce a new series of TCG cards with build in NFC and/or figurines that can be transported into a new home console game. It could be one way Nintendo can make up to people who can attend certain events for special or rare Pokemon – like at Toys R Us or the New York Nintendo Shop.

      There are uses for NFC technology. It requires rather close proximity, but it could be worth it to deliver DLC of any form – new characters, levels, et cetera. It’s also a wonderful storage medium for games like Skylanders which, really, is an ingenious way for Activision to pull in some extra profit.

      • Draco Breach

        …*can’t* attend certain events…

        Lovely typos.

  • Derek

    dude, using a credit card or nintendo points cards, just swipe them or put them near this or whatever and the payment is made..that’d be awesome.

  • GoodNintentions


  • GoodNintentions

    I wonder if NFC will make the ultimate got to buy ’em all pokemon home console edition.

    Is Chase McCain not going to have an NFC toy thing?

    • Tyler

      “Chase McCain? You’re a legend!”
      – LEGO City: Undercover
      LOL. I laughed at that at E3. It was really cheesy πŸ™‚

  • MujuraNoKamen

    Doesn’t Skylanders use NFC?
    Oh well even if the games so far don’t use NFC, it could still be used for credit cards on E-Shop.

  • Hangman

    NFC needs to be on new Smash Bros. think about instead of on game trophies you have the figures. That’s my idea please do this I I will gladly hand Over my money for another video game toy series to be completed

    • JumpMan

      Nintendo wouldn’t rip people off like that.

  • Grodus

    Hmm…eshop games could have bar codes I geuss… I don’t know.

  • Ryu No Hadouken

    A lot of you are talking about Skylanders or other games using NFC in the same fashion, but you have forgotten one major piece of that puzzle: for NFC to work in a game like Skylanders, the “toy” has to be on the controllers screen…how are you gonna play it with the toy sitting there? do you think you can play without making the toy fall off? just sayin

  • Tyler

    I really don’t get why SKYLANDERS wouldn’t use NFC. I’m not really upset by it, but really… Skylanders. It would be the perfect opportunity to add a more realistic effect to how the toys “Come to life” in the games.