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Nintendo Shares Wii U Bits at Earnings Briefing

System to support NFC for micropayments, and personal account system for Nintendo Network.


Wii U was brought up briefly by Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata during an investor's briefing today.

As reported yesterday from an Osaka version of the briefing, Nintendo will launch the Wii U in Japan, the U.S., Europe and Australia "in time for the year-end sales season." (This is a quote from Nintendo's official English translation of Iwata's comments).

"For the launch of new hardware, it is regarded as a sort of requisite not to miss the critical year-end sales season," said Iwata. "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." He repeated a past statement that Nintendo has "learned a bitter lesson from the launch of the Nintendo 3DS."

The Wii U will be shown in final form at E3 2012, which will be held in Los Angeles in June. Nintendo also hopes to have an event in Tokyo to showcase the system to wholesalers and analysts who cannot attend E3.

Iwata revealed only a couple of new developments for the Wii U.

As detailed in our story from earlier in the day, Wii U will support the new Nintendo Network platform. The system will offer personal accounts, which Nintendo feels will improve the ease with which multiple family members can use the system together. These accounts will work with the Nintendo Network service.

Nintendo is adding NFC functionality to the Wii U controller. Short for Near Field Communication, NFC is a radio communication standard that's used in smart card systems like FeliCa and Mifare. Regarding what the NFC functionality will bring to the Wii U, Iwata said, "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."

View Iwata's full comments in English here.

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