The Wii U's Built-in NFC Reader Aligns Pokémon along the 'Skylanders' and 'Disney Infinity' path.
Near field communication, the technology behind both Activision's incredibly popular Skylanders figure/video game crossover product and the latest smartphone "in thing," the phone bump, has been packed into the Wii U's gamepad since the product's introduction. It's first use is apparently for 'Pokémon Rumble U,' which is set to debut in Japan on April 24th.
The 'Skylander' model couples chip-embed figures that interact with video games through an NFC reader, e. g. by placing a 'Skylander' figure on the reader, the figure becomes accessible in-game, oftentimes opening up content already on the disc. Disney's 'Infinity' has a similar ambition. Both products rely on a NFC reader. (a portal in the case of 'Skylanders') The figures themselves are cross-compatible and quite collectible.
With 'Pokémon Rumble U,' Nintendo is ready to encourage kids 'to catch 'em all' as in all the Pokémon figures that can be sold. The game will be downloadable in Japan with figures selling for roughly $2 a piece. Details for versions outside of Japan have yet to surface.