NFC is all the rage these days. No, not some sort of Fried Chicken restaurant. Near-Field Compatibility. This technology powers Skylanders and Disney Infinity, letting you wirelessly transfer data between the games and toys to create a true transmedia experience.
What many of you may not know, however, is that the Wii U GamePad supports this as standard - while Nintendo are quietly working on a 3DS peripheral alongside a range of chipped figurines. They've now announced that Super Smash Bros. will support the toy line... and if handled properly it could totally revitalise the console's prospects while being a whole heap of fun for us gamers to boot.
Nintendo France boss Stephan Bole confirmed the news to Le Figaro newspaper. "E3 is also an opportunity to show the use of NFC technology in Nintendo consoles," he explained. "The NFC will be used in the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros."
"What is especially unique about NFP is that it is not classed as an accessory product of a certain software title but as a platform itself," Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata previously explained.
"In other words, the figurines, which consumers can buy and collect, are going to work with multiple software titles to be released in the future, and we are aiming to develop more software titles compatible with the figurines."
So... what, you might ask?
Here's what. For the first time, Super Smash Bros will support robust and exceptionally versatile customisable movesets for each character, allowing us to create our own totally unique combatants.
Which we could take round to a friend's house by simply recording the profile onto the character's respective figurine. And then transfer onto a 3DS. Or vice-versa. A figurine that could perhaps come with an interesting new moveset we haven't considered. And maybe a unique costume. And then, as per Nintendo's brief, perhaps even export it into other games or use the same information in new ways.
The technology is right there. It's been hidden in the GamePad since launch, yet totally unused. Over the coming years, Nintendo plans to transform it into a unified platform with one range of toys that work throughout an entire plethora of first party games - and Super Smash Bros is just the start.
Then again, they might totally blow it or turn it into an awful DLC extravaganza. But we can't wait to find out!