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.


  • fabio

    Is that possible?

    • Yodin

      Yes it is possible

  • curiouswiiu

    So, is it like streetpass were it can connect with other Wii U systems, like the 3DS?

    • Omotayostorm

      I hope it is

      • Peter

        This would be pointless. Wii U is not something you can walk down the street with… The controller cannot go that far either, apparently you can walk around a small house, and farther in big houses with open spaces, but soon as you pass a wall it can weaken your signal and cut reaction time in games and other software (and shortly after it will disconnect). Wii U does have a new online play though that is (as far as nintendo says) just as efficient and good, if not better than Xbox Live and PSN. They are very confident that the Wii U will have competitive online play like the other consoles. I am still buying a Wii U, i luckily got to play one for about 3 hours, and it was amazing. I’m buying the system and the game i played (zombiu). It really is a great next gen console. But of course playstation 4 and xbox 720 could beat it when they come out, but that doesn’t matter, nintendo really had a better idea this time.

  • 10 year old

    who knows bitc h

  • Miks

    This is a insanely good business idea. Want to have a extra heart container in Zelda? Buy the heart figure. Want to have Ezio for Assassin’s Creed’s online? Buy the Ezio figure. This actually gives a reason to buy Nintendo figurines. Imagine Super Smash Bros. figurine implementation.

    • EponaVsCrimsonLoftwing

      Super Smash Bros. figurines…. endless characters in Smash. Like a figurine DLC for it. And if third parties could also add to the list… I wanna play as Death from Darksiders 2 in Smash! Or get anime characters… Goku + Smash Bros = Win. Plus, you get to keep the figurine. I would do DLC like that. Ichigo uses his hollow mask for his final smash o.O YES. Take my money, just, just take it. I love you forever, Nintendo.

      • Brendan

        I don’t know, that might be a little over board. Maybe if they’re just used for trophies.

  • hey

    been cool with magic, could use real cards

  • I don’t know…

    non-specific action figure joins the party! Sooooo much winning. I look forward to this.

  • Zhaf

    could make collectors edition more worthwhile i guess.. scan figurine, get new characters.. scan weapons, get new weapons

  • Jerm1234

    I hope they do this for lots of fighting games like Smash Bros!!

    • I Can’t Think of a Name

      but what would it do?

  • Brendan

    This would be great for smash bros. You could buy or win real life trophies as merchandise and then unlock that trophy and maybe a few more in game.

  • nic

    i don’t think it will be used for that but what i want to know is if activion will use for wii u skylanders exclusive or if pokemon wii u game is in the making only because they keep saying trading cards

  • Crapcake

    Maybe if sega does it we’ ll play sonic games as the plumber with a red hat

  • John nathan

    L O L what if u could import real people via chips imbedded in their clothes
    or maybe even a game where you use the nfc function to pit trading cards against other trading cards of a different franchise


    If this is real, then that is a way cool addition to the WiiU for sure…

  • epic

    i wonder if it works with 3ds AR cards

    • KarjamP

      The 3DS AR application works by using a camera to track the pics on the cards, not NFC technology.

      Besides, NFC technology is too impractical to be used like that, as it’s very short ranged.

    • Anthony Grenus

      No because the AR cards are used by the camera on the 3DS.

  • NavyBlueYoshi

    Now wii u users will buy only official merchandise…is like to meet the genious who came up with that! I only collected legitimate Nintendo stuff anyway so it feels awsome to be rewarded for buying only licensed items. I really hope they broaden the merchandise section by adding things such as more Zelda merchandise, that would be epic! Can’t wait to see how Nintendo will use NFC

    • NavyBlueYoshi

      I meant to say ” I’d like to meet the genius” darn auto correct

      • Elem187

        Yeah, he’s a genius alright. Developing new and innovative ways to get people to part with even more of their money…. So not only sell a 60$ game, but also make it sooooo hard nobody can beat it, but sell an item with a NFC in it that beams an item into the game that makes it beatable and sell that item for another 20$….

        Pure GENIUS!

  • D-Fect

    Mario Kart Items 🙂

  • Hangman

    Think about this, they said Zelda would fully use everything in the gamepad right? Zelda figures or cards with NFC!!!!

    • And also special items like toys on skylanders but with the epicness of The Legend of Zelda :O :O :O

  • Shane

    I thought Skylanders Spyro’s adventure was pure genius. But building it into the console for every game developer to implement cheaply, brilliant.

  • Ian

    Does anyone know if the skylanders giants wii U version will support this?

  • Ineed someone to be able to call.  Is there a number?