Under 18? You Need 50 Cents To Register On Nintendo Network

Nintendo is serious about making Miiverse an elegant online service for a more civilised era. They want to keep it safe too and make sure some adult in the house is aware of what the kids are doing on it.

The best way to accomplish that seems to be requiring a nominal fee, payable by credit card, to register a minor on Nintendo Network. The price is $US0.50.

We put this to the test at Kotaku, and while there is a means of lying about your age to get a Nintendo Network ID, Nintendo has tried to weave in a few things to catch junior in a lie.

This is what happens:

When creating a Nintendo Network ID, the first thing the system does is spit out a warning that says if you are under 18 years old, you have to get your parent or legal guardian to approve your use of the service. OK. Sounds good. You button 'yes', whether or not mum or dad really has said 'yes'. Either way, you're then taken to a profile screen asking for your birthday.

Answering that honestly then triggers the console's parental controls, if they aren't already active. This can be fine if a kid is creating an underage profile with his parents' consent. For those who aren't, they now have to either defeat the parental control, or if that hasn't been set yet, create the PIN and security question answer that establishes them.

Let's say junior then decides to set up the parental controls (which could down the line result in a parent asking why parental controls had been set on the machine already). He'll still have to follow that up with the 50c credit card payment to create his profile on Nintendo Network, on the assumption most minors don't have a credit card.

Ah, you say. What if I'm 14 years old and just lie all the way through and put in my birthday as 18 years old? You can do that. And you've created a profile that says you're 18.

It's not a perfect system, and it can be defeated early on by a child determined to lie. But as I learned when I was a kid (well, I wouldn't say I learned as I persisted with the behaviour) a second lie doesn't eliminate the chance to be caught, it multiplies it. And Nintendo has still performed its due diligence.

And, yes, you still need a credit card to buy something from the eShop.

Nintendo charging 50 cents to register minors on Nintendo Network [GoNintendo]


Comments

    Is that always US 50 cents? Does that mean we have to pay a fee for the currency conversion with our bank here in Australia?

      Nope because international cards are locked out of the system so you wont get that far ;)

    Why a transaction? Is credit card verification not enough?

      Any child can go into their parents wallet and pinch the credit card, I think the transaction is a failsafe so that kids don't use their parents card without consent

    Not a single parent will bother with this. .50c + international transaction fee, it's a hassle. If the parents are net-savvy enough to know that adult accounts are free, they'll just let their kids use theirs or make them say they're 18.

    Facebook used to block access to kids too. Did it work? Nope. Everyone just lied about their age.

      it's only .50cents I don't think it's going to affect anyone the upside is nintendo could make a little bit of money off it haha the optimal word being "little"

      i would probably just create an 18+ one for my kids at the end of the day it comes down to the parent monitoring what the kids are doing anyway

    This is very bad. If I have three children, itll cost me $1.50 to register - non-refundable.

    Not a lot, most would say - but tines this by consoles sold and there's a few million dollars Nintendo just scammed.

      "Very bad"? Because... They've made another $1.50 off each family they've sold several hundreds of dollars of console and games too? While trying to maintain an integrity of age appropriate content?

      I hardly think charging people a price they're aware of in advance and have the right not to pay is "Scamming". For all we know there's a moderation team at Nintendo helping enforce age appropriate content, and this fee helps pay their salary. Maybe it is just extra cash but it's a pittance. It might be a slight boon for Nintendo but I'd hardly classify it as evil. Maybe they should just do a verification, that's fair enough, but they're hardly twirling their handlebar mustaches as they tie parents to the traintracks and issue ransom notes in flickery Courier New.

    I believe it is 13, actually. That's what I've seen on most sites.

    ebay does something similiar to verify the account but the money is refunded.

    My two cents is that if you just spent $400 on a video games console and some games 50 Cents is not going to break your budget.

    People say that XBL is worth the price you pay every month/year but complain when you have to pay a mere 50c for a lifetime Nintendo Network membership...

    I was sure its only to verify under 13, not under 18? Can Kotaku double-check this?

    Ok my mom is buying me a wiiu for christmas and you know Ima wanna play online. So im just wondering would if she signs up first saying shes older 18 and I make my account second--plus im 16 years old-- but do I have to pay 50 cents.. because my mom don't like putting her credit card in my gaming systems....
    help I just want to know as any other 16 year old would.us

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now