Nintendo unveils online Wii U platform

Posted by Mark Raby

Nintendo will finally come on board with an online interface similar to that of the Xbox 360 and the PS3.

It's called the Nintendo Network, and it will allow users to connect with one another while playing online games and chatting. The Nintendo Network will also offer a full digital download platform for downloadable games and add-on content.

Nintendo unveils online Wii U platformAmong the numerous factors that have made Nintendo's Wii console seem so outdated is its almost complete lack of online interaction between users.

While it is possible to play some Wii games online and there are downloadable games, everything is so closed off and proprietary that many gamers just don't even bother.

Another very interesting feature that was just revealed is Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for the Wii U. This is the technology that allows smartphones to be used as virtual credit cards in stores, but it also has huge potential in other market segments, and Nintendo wants to be a leader in this area.

"By installing this functionality, it will become possible to create cards and figurines that can electronically read and write data via non-contact 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," said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

The Nintendo Network will not necessarily launch in time for the Wii U release date, but it should be up and running by the end of the year.