Nintendo's Wii U video game console, which has a Near Field Communication reader built into its controller, is finally putting that technology to use to accept payment cards.

The update, for Japanese Wii U owners, goes live today and allows users to tap a contactless Suica fare card against the Wii U's gamepad to spend funds, according to Nintendo.

The Wii U, launched in late 2012 as a high-definition successor to the popular Wii console, has otherwise done little with the NFC reader built into its tablet-like game controller. The company plans to launch a line of toys that interact with its video games through NFC, but the Suica announcement is the first example of Nintendo using NFC to accept payments for downloadable games.

Nintendo's rivals are also adding payment options. Sony has been steadily expanding its acceptance of PayPal and direct carrier billing across game devices and regions. Microsoft's newest console, the Xbox One, uses an attachable camera to read QR codes printed on stored-value cards.

 

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