Wii U NFC technology, also known as Near Field Communications, makes it possible to connect real world objects and items with embedded NFC chip with the Wii U controller. The Wii U NFC technology is part of the Wii U controller, which will recognize nearby NFC chips. The technology can be used in many ways, including adding new playable characters to a game by scanning its NFC chip and “importing” a virtual version into the Wii U game. All Wii U models will include NFC technology.

Wii U NFC uses

Wii U NFC technology can be used for a wide variety of features. Rayman Legends showcased a version of the tech where an real world object was placed on the Wii U controller, where after it was “imported” into the game. For example, the above photo shows a heart being set on the controller. Subsequently, the player received extra lives in the game. The uses for the NFC technology is limitless, as these small chips are cheap to implement in even the smallest items, such as toys, figurines, playing cards, and more. Furthermore, this technology is gaining traction in the smartphone market, where more and more phones are shipping with built in NFC chips.

Wii U NFC examples

Wii U NFC example
The above example of Wii U NFC technology shows how a playable character can be imported via the Wii U controller into the game. A figurine with an embedded NFC chip is placed on top of the controller, which recognizes the NFC chip, and imports the character into the game. Other uses for NFC technology could be items such as playing cards or pre-paid gaming cards, which would be scanned by the controller and implemented into the gaming environment.

Wii U NFC can also connect to smartphones with the technology embedded, which will make it possible to share content from the phone with the Wii U controller and console. For example, players would be able to import photos and content from their phones to the console. However, since NFC technology only supports speeds from around 100 kbit/s to 400 kbit/s, large files like videos are unlikely to be transferable from phones and other devices to the console. NFC transfer speeds are about half as fast as Bluetooth, however, NFC is a lot cheater to implement and use. Wii U NFC could also be used to make payments, provided that the player’s credit card is equipped with an NFC chip. The Wii U NFC chip is located on the left side, under the D-Pad, on the Wii U GamePad.

So far the technology has been showcased in Rayman Legends by Ubisoft, but most developers are expected to bring some sort of NFC support to their games, especially big Wii U franchises with action figures and merchandise. The new technology will also be able to pair all sorts of Wii U accessories, and offer greater interaction between the controller, accessory, and games.