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

Nintendo Can’t Promise Its Online Service Will Always Be Free
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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.

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.”

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.”

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 OK.

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]


  • Unsurprising. I can see them adopting the Playstation+ model in the future, but I doubt they’d charge for online multipalyer access like Xbox Live does.

  • I have ps+ and find it is great value for money to me. I stopped paying for Xbox live as I find it only offers online play for me for the fee but Sony let’s me do that for free. If Nintendo offer something like Sony then I would consider it.

  • I swore I would never pay for xbox live Gold just to play online games, especially as you can play online everywhere else for free.
    You’ve already paid for the game and the system, you’re paying for internet access, why pay another middleman?
    If it’s something extra, fine, but I just can’t justify paying for something that’s free everywhere else, especially a monthly fee.

  • The big benefit of paying for Xbox Live was that the service, at least in it’s infancy, was much better than Sony’s. Now the tide has swung back a little bit – perhaps the extra revenue from PS+ has helped – but it seems like to get the best online service, someone, somewhere, has to pay for it.
    If Nintendo charge for a premium service I’ll look seriously at jumping on board. Of course, it all depends on what you get vs what you pay, and for what you pay for Xbox Live, I think you actually get very little. Sony has the right idea with the PSN and PS+.

  • Xbox was never better then PSN. I had problems with xbox live from day one. Constant lag issues, and just a stupid set up. Im not saying PSN was perfect but I found it stable and easy to use.

    Also has anyone else seen how much Nintendo are copying the PSN, sony are the only company that seem to be coming up with most there ideas while microsoft and nintendo are now in there own war to perfect tech. Stupid realy

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