Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has decided to reveal Wii U's "top secret" feature: NFC.
NFC is short for "Near Field Communication," a technology that had been around for a while now allowing smart devices to interact with inanimate with objects equipped with NFC tags simply by touching them.
"By installing this functionality, it will become possible to create cards and figurines that can electronically read and write data via noncontact NFC and to expand the new play format in the video game world," Iwata explained during an earnings briefing.
"Adoption of this functionality will enable various other possibilities such as using it as a means of making micropayments."
In addition to redeeming coupons without entering their codes manually, NFC can be used to allow Wii U to detect figurines and incorporate them in games. Needless to say, the inevitable Pokemon game that'll take advantage of this technology will be a new gold mine for Nintendo.
On a more technical note, Iwata explained that "The NFC I'm referring to here is the noncontact NFC standard that is compatible with FeliCa and MIFARE, and is expected to be widely used around the world in the near future."
In related news, Iwata also revealed that Nintendo will launch Nintendo Network alongside the release of Wii U. The Nintendo Network will allow users to have their personal accounts not tied to their consoles and will act as a platform for Wii U and 3DS digital games and paid DLC distribution.