With E3 2012 fast approaching, the big news item on most people’s minds is the Nintendo Wii U. Will it stumble out of the gate like the 3DS arguably did? Is there still untapped potential in touch gaming? Is this console more of an update to the Wii than a brand new generation of technology?
There’s still a month to go before answers to, hopefully, some of these questions are revealed. In the meantime, stories about what features the Wii U will have continue to circulate, the latest of these being a system oddly similar to the Street Pass introduced with the 3DS.
In a recently leaked trailer for Rayman Legends, it was revealed that the game would be utilizing Near Field Communication, allowing players to input data from Ubisoft-themed figures into the game via the Wii U controller. According to the latest rumor, one of Dual Pixel‘s inside sources claims that Near Field Communication will be used for far more than selling action figures or Skylanders-esque add-ons.
Apparently the Wii U experience won’t be limited to a console and a still-somewhat-mysterious number of tablet controller, but also come in portable form. A small electronic device featuring an LCD screen (similar to the Pokewalker used to take the Pokemon franchise on the go) will be loaded with player-specific data, and capable of communicating with other users in close proximity. The portable device is reportedly being referred to as a “Gamer Card,” a term familiar to anyone active on Xbox Live. Aside from a version of the player’s Mii and some data, the “Gamer Card” is designed to receive and record information on the Wii U owners in the immediate area.
The idea and result is similar to that seen with the 3DS, and is yet another useful feature for those who want to play online without worrying about memorizing long codes. Whatever the company’s past, this report shows that Nintendo is thinking outside the box when it comes to updating their system and forming stronger online communities. It may even be connected to the supposed cross-platform support for the new Super Smash Bros. Whenever Nintendo decides to try something interesting, we tend to be on board.
However, the same could be said of the change in direction seen with the Wii, and the popularization of motion controls. The decision to appeal to a mainstream, casual audience as much as the hardcore paid dividends for the company, but the question remains: will the Wii U be a move towards their competition’s territory, or a commitment to a larger market?
Do you think this is a smart move on Nintendo’s part? Will you be making use of the Wii U “Gamer Card” if it’s real? We’ll keep you up to date on any official announcement, or even juicier rumors.
Source: Dual Pixels