One of the biggest successes for Activision last year was their unique take on the Spyro the Dragon series. Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure did something that no other title has done in the past, and that is allow children to bring their toys to life within a video game. The new premise paid off, as the game sold like hotcakes — leaving the collectible Skylanders action figures sold out across nearly all retailers.
Nintendo must have found the idea pretty spectacular as well, because Nintendo president Satrou Iwata has announced that the Wii U controller will contain a similar technology called Near Field Communication (NFC). Iwata made this additional feature official during the same Nintendo investor's briefing that brought us news of a new 2D Mario game on the 3DS, and he did a very good job at alluding to what NFC may mean for gamers.
According to the official press release from Nintendo, Near Field Communication will allow Wii U owners to do several very awesome things. Big boss Iwata didn't get into any specifics regarding what Nintendo plans to do with the technology, but insisted that players would be able to use cards, toys, and even credit cards that were compatible with the tech.
"By installing this functionality, it will become possible to create cards and figurines that can electronically read and write data via noncontact NFC and to expand the new play format in the video game world. Adoption of this functionality will enable various other possibilities such as using it as a means of making micropayments."
By implementing this technology with the Wii U's controller, Nintendo has opened the door to what could be insurmountable heaps of additional income. Imagine the ability to go out to the store, buy a pack of Pokemon cards/figures, and then literally bring your latest purchase to life on your television screen — this is the kind of stuff that NFC makes possible. Whether or not that specific example comes to fruition is up to Nintendo.
Still, the premise of simply having to place your Mass Effect 3 action figures on your coffee table to get exclusive in-game content sounds appealing — especially if it means I don't have to ruin the packaging.
Follow me on Twitter @TheRileyLittle