Utilization Of NFC On The Wii U Gamepad: Unrealized Potential

Pokemon Rumble U NFC


I think we can all agree that the Wii U has some pretty amazing features, one of which is the NFC (Near Field Communication) functionality on the Gamepad component. If you haven’t heard of it, Near Field Communication allows real life objects to interact with games and software (think Skylanders, or Disney Infinity.)  My question is: what is with the lack of the NFC feature appearing in games published by Wii U developers? Is there something holding them back? I’m sensing a huge chunk of wasted potential.

First off, for the people that aren’t familiar with NFC, let’s take a look at the tech demo featuring the use of the NFC technology released by Ubisoft before the Wii U was available in retailers:

You’ll notice that at the end of that video, the female narrating the video referred to NFC as being “super cool tech”, which I’m sure it is, but why haven’t developers taken advantage of it? Well, President and Founder of Nami Tentou Mushi (they made the PING series) has a couple of ideas

Nami Tentou Mushi

Christopher wasn’t too far off actually, Nintendo WAS able to do something with similar to what Chris mentioned above:

Nintendo needs to get developers to utilize this feature or else it will be remembered as something along the N64DD or the Power Glove OR another terrible invention from back in the early days days of gaming. Continuing with what Christopher said, I think a Pokémon trading card game would be really popular among gamers of all ages, and I’m not saying that money is Nintendo’s motivation for doing things, but they would certainly make a big buck.

Another thing, if Nintendo can start to utilize NFC in it’s upcoming first party games, that would add A LOT more value to the purchases. When you think about trophies in Smash Bros. 4 being physical objects, or NFC figurines unlocking new characters, karts, and items in Mario Kart 8, you can start to see where I’m coming from.

Mario Kart NFC

There’s one thing that I find extremely concerning though. This is the fact that the technology is supposedly VERY expensive. I think if the time is right, and the technology gets cheaper, we could see a boost in the creativeness in indie developers (a group of developers that Nintendo has been supporting A LOT lately.

I think a large part of the lack in the use of this technology COULD be due to the fact that using new technology is intimidating. If you think about things outside of the gaming world like 3D printing or inside the world of gaming like Virtual Reality technologies (although not new, just rising in popularity), people are very unfamiliar with the complex-looking technologies that go behind it, making them turn away.

Pokemon NFC

Whatever the reason, more developers need to utilize this technology, and soon. I predict that the ones who do will truly see a big payout in the future.

That’s all folks, thanks for reading! Do you agree or disagree with what I said? Anything that you would add or take away? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

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