In a report published by NetworkWorld and based on news straight from Japan – Nintendo has announced that its next-generation Wii U game console will launch in time for the holiday season in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

The successor to the popular Wii console will integrate a popular touch-card technology into its controllers. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said the device will use NFC, or near field communication, standards that are widely employed in tap-and-go train passes and other payment systems worldwide.

“It will become possible to create cards and figurines that can electronically read and write data via noncontact NFC,” Iwata said in a speech, a copy of which was posted on Nintendo’s web site.

“Adoption of this functionality will enable various other possibilities such as using it as a means of making micropayments,” he added.

The Nintendo chief said final details about the Wii U will be announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, a major annual game exhibition to be held this year in June in Los Angeles.

The Wii U has a large controller that is similar to a dedicated handheld console, with a touchscreen, motion detection and camera. Its small screen can be used to supplement games played on TVs or replace the larger display entirely.

Speaking about related Nintendo technologies, Iwata added that Nintendo is working to expand StreetPass and SpotPass, the peer-to-peer platforms of the device, which let users communicate and compete via their 3DS consoles. The company is also working to expand its fledgling online shop for the device.

Looks like I may have an original Wii up for sale soon.