Perhaps the most interesting tidbit was word that Wii U’s tablet-sized controller would include near-field communication technology.
Iwata said it "will become possible to create cards and figurines that [it] can electronically read” and “will enable various other possibilities such as using it as a means of making micropayments.”
Iwata confirmed Nintendo’s online service will now be called “Nintendo Network,” which coincides with 3DS’ native ability to sell downloadable content through eShop. Nintendo is also considering the ability to sell “packaged software” (read: retail games) through the Nintendo Network, but it hasn’t decided when to roll out such a feature.
“The decision must be made by taking into consideration such factors as the relationship with the wholesalers and retailers," he said, "and the best way to be embraced by consumers, as well as the environment surrounding the market and consumers, such as the required memory capacity on consumers’ SD memory cards.”
If Wii U comes with a decent amount of hard drive space, this could become an option. It should become an option.
There is other reasons to be optimistic about Wii U’s leveraging of Internet connectivity. Iwata said Nintendo would be introducing the ability to have multiple accounts per system, the machine will include a “variety of different services and content,” and also work to have online systems work across games.
“Whether it’s our first-party titles or third parties’ titles, for a number of games,” he said, “we will actively attempt to achieve compatibility so that our consumers can enjoy our online services that we will deploy under the name of the Nintendo Network.”
When it comes to games, Iwata mentioned a new 2D Mario game is in the works for 3DS but said little else.
“We are planning to release a totally new side-scrolling action Super Mario in 2D as a key title for the Nintendo 3DS in the next fiscal year,” said Iwata.
This mention came just after Iwata promised Nintendo’s next wave of games would be released “without any extreme interruptions.”