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Nintendo Can't Promise Its Online Service Will Always Be Free

Illustration for article titled Nintendo Cant Promise Its Online Service Will Always Be Free

Another day of Nintendo honcho blowing the gasket off of things. This time, it's Nintendo's online service, the Nintendo Network. It's supposed to be free, but that doesn't mean it will be free forever. Forever is a long time.

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At a recent investors meeting, Iwata said, "We cannot promise that Nintendo will always provide you with online services free of charge no matter how deep the experiences are that it may provide."

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Continuing, he added, "But at least we are not thinking of asking our consumers to pay money to just casually get access to our ordinary online services."

It sounds like Nintendo is tossing around the idea of maybe having a casual service and a premium one.

According to Iwata, Nintendo has a varied of users—from casual to hardcore. He believes that the casual players might only play online during, say, summer vacation or during Japan's end of year holidays.

"We therefore believe that services which ask our consumers to obtain paid memberships are not always the best."

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If Nintendo did roll out two services (one free and one premium), gamers would probably be willing to pony up the extra fees for a "deep" online service—well, of course, if Nintendo made a premium service that gamers felt lived up to the add-on fees. And that's okay.

You do get what you pay for, there are no free lunches, and all that jazz.

The 72nd Annual General Meeting of Shareholders [Nintendo via Eurogamer]

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DISCUSSION

Rather Irrelevant post since I don't plan on getting a WiiU but here it is;

basing my opinion off the current Nintendo network, I would never pay to get a service that is anywhere near similar to this. The friend code system is a horrible idea, the online play is pretty weak in terms of connectivity and lag, and its not a supported feature currently in all honesty. I don't mind paying for xbox live because I nearly never have an issue with connecting to game servers, finding people to play with, and using all the features that it opens up access too. Same can be said about the PS+ features.

I think it was last years E3 or TGS that Nintendo was asked when they were going to support an online community and they responded with "We've been online for a while now" counting their e-shops as an online community I guess, or maybe the DS's online capabilities(with it's crazy friend code system too lol). I honestly don't know, but in my opinion Nintendo didn't take online gaming seriously and it hurt their PR in my eyes. If they didn't want to support an online infrastructure they could have just said so.