Nintendo have confirmed what many on the industry already suspected: their new Wii U game console will begin shipping by July 2012. The successor to the popular Wii console will integrate a popular touch-card technology into its controllers (using NFC or Near Field Communication technology).

This will allow for characters, figurines, and information to be stored via a swipe action; just like credit cards can make payments with a quick tap of the card on the payment reader. It will also allow for instant payments using the Wii U controllers, which opens a raft of opportunities for merchants and vendors. The Wii U will also include a large controller which is similar to a handheld console.

It will include a touchscreen, motion detection and camera. Nintendo claim this will facilitate better gameplay or even replace the need for TVs altogether (an interesting concept considering game consoles need a large HDTV as part of their ecosystem). No news yet on pricing, but it seems Japan, USA and Europe will be first to get the new Wii U product.