Nintendo Co. Ltd. wants to expand the use of the Suica contactless card for small-value payments on its video game consoles.
The Japanese video game maker's Wii U console has a Near Field Communication (NFC) reader built into its tablet-like game controller. The company began accepting payments from Japan's Suica fare card, which can be tapped against the controller, in June.
Nintendo is now considering supporting NFC payments on its New Nintendo 3DS, a beefed-up version of the company's similarly named Nintendo 3DS handheld system, which launched worldwide in 2011. The New Nintendo 3DS has NFC capabilities, which the 2011 model lacks.
"By the introduction of this function [on the Wii U], the barrier to make small payments has been lowered, and more consumers who had never purchased products digitally before are trying them," said Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's president, in an Oct. 30 presentation posted to Nintendo's website.
The New Nintendo 3DS is not currently available in North America. The device launched in Japan and other parts of Asia this month and will be released in Australia and New Zealand in late November. The New Nintendo 3DS can play games released for the 2011 model, including downloadable content.
If Suica payments are enabled on the New Nintendo 3DS, "since there is an abundance of under-500-yen digital content for Nintendo 3DS, we are expecting new possibilities and opportunities," Iwata said.