Satoru Iwata has revealed more information on the Wii U during an earnings meeting with investors. First up, it has been confirmed that the Wii U will be compatible with Nintendo Network. The Nintendo Network is the new network platform being introduced for the 3DS and Wii U to allow purchases of digital content and cross-platforming communications. In addition to the Nintendo Network, the Wii U will hold multiple personal accounts, similar to the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, to allow easier sharing of the system with the family. These profiles will be compatible with Nintendo Network accounts.
Iwata has also talked about the Wii U Controller. The Wii U Controller will be compatible with Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC is a type of radio communication usually found in smart card systems such as FeliCa and Mifare. Iwata spoke on the addition of NFC in the Wii U controller:
“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.”
Iwata has also made comments on the importance of a successful launch after the underwhelming 3DS launch, as well as why the Wii U will launch in the next holiday season in all major regions.
“For the launch of new hardware, it is regarded as a sort of requisite not to miss the critical year-end sales season. The company is aiming to firmly complete the development of the entire system and prepare sufficient software so that the Wii U will be at its best at the time of the launch.”
“[Nintendo] learned a bitter lesson from the launch of the Nintendo 3DS.”
Iwata has also confirmed what was obvious and that is the retail version of the Wii U will be revealed at this year’s E3. For those who can’t make it to the show (i.e. wholesalers and analysts), Iwata hopes to hold a show in Tokyo during the Los Angelas show.