Nintendo Intends Free Online for Wii U and 3DS
Iwata’s vision for Nintendo’s online service is much grander than just free gameplay. His plans expand into Wii U and 3DS connectivity, the creation of the Nintendo Network, and finding a way to encourage users to purchase more games. With all of Nintendo’s plans to expand their online services one may expect a paid subscription feature to be added. However Iwata says that is not the case,
“We have a wide variety of consumers, from the ones who enthusiastically play video games to those playing more casually, who are not always interested in them but try to play a game only when it has become a public topic or play it just during certain periods, like a year-end season and summer vacation,” Iwata said, “We therefore believe that services which ask our consumers to obtain paid memberships are not always the best. We cannot promise here that Nintendo will always provide you with online services free of charge no matter how deep the experiences are that it may provide, but at least we are not thinking of asking our consumers to pay money to just casually get access to our ordinary online services.”
Iwata then continued to elaborate into the idea of paid online services.
“Even if we will not directly get paid by such online services, they will help build the circumstance where consumers are more constantly playing games on our platforms, which will increase the sales potential of new games, or a consumer who has played two games a year would be inclined to try three or four games a year. In short, we expect that online services will contribute to our profits in the form of increasing the number of games to be sold for one platform… while we are not considering asking our consumers to pay periodic subscription fees, we are going to make it so that more software can be sold through the services.”