Nintendo Online May Only Be Free for Casual Gamers

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Nintendo Online May Only Be Free for Casual Gamers

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Nintendo's president claims subscriptions may be in order for people who "enthusiastically play video games."

Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has stated that, while "ordinary" Wii U online services will remain free of charge for the foreseeable future, there may come a day when Nintendo starts charging for so-called "deep" online gaming. His announcement was aimed at the hard-core amongst you; Nintendo has no intention of charging casual gamers for their fun, but the rest may have to pay for their pleasures.

"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," Iwata said in a shareholder meeting, as he spoke out against the practice of charging a subscription fee for online access. He said subscription services just don't suit the casual gamer who dips into his console collection for a short or limited period. "We therefore believe that services which ask our consumers to obtain paid memberships are not always the best," he claimed, but added that saying subscriptions didn't suit casual gamers didn't mean that Nintendo would never use a subscription-based service. It meant that Nintendo would only use it on those gamers who, as Iwata described them, "enthusiastically play video games."

"We plan to expand various network services for the Wii U," Iwata said in reply to a shareholder question about covering online costs, adding that this expansion would also include the 3DS and any future additions to Nintendo's console stable. Without elaborating on those systems, in the next breath Iwata went on to say that "we are not thinking of asking our consumers to pay money to just casually get access to our ordinary online services."

Judging by the tenor of Iwata's answer, Nintendo has no intention of switching to a fee-paying online service for the hardcores just yet, and indeed he mentions no date. This is a statement intended to reassure nervous shareholders that Nintendo is "considering the necessary and appropriate services," as Iwata describes it. Shareholders are looking at Nintendo's costs and wondering how the company intends to cover them; Iwata wants to pacify these worried money men without saying anything he may later regret.

Source: Nintendo Shareholder Q&A via Eurogamer

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So...they wont have to worry about providing deep online services because they have this habit of not releasing games

Dammit Iwata! It's like you want everyone BUT actual gamers to play your games.

Now, from what I've read, all this is saying is that they will charge for DLC and in-game items... Which seems normal.

So... basically they're saying... we're only charging you because you will pay it?
They get mad when people use the excuse for pirating "I couldn't afford it if I wanted to, so I just got it for free", yet they use the exact same logic to charge people more money.

Good job Nintendo.

This just in: Figurehead says things. Which may mean things. Or not.

More at eleven!

Well that's all well and good then, because Nintendo will never offer a comparably deep online service, so no loss there then.

Double post, site playing up

People should first read the last paragraph and only than start bitching... if they still have a reason to.

1. It's for the most part only to reasure the shareholder that Nintendo has thought out possible solutions for covering the cost.
2. They didn't say they will 100% go with the subscription model right away. He even thought it's not a good idea, but he can't guaranty they won't have to switch.
3. Having a elaborated online service costs money no matter what you think. Take WoW for example. You still have to pay a monthly fee even tho you bought the game. Hosting a such huge service takes quite a bit of resources. An online service can take even much more resources considering the online shop which will basically have ALL future games for Nintendo consoles.

For now it's safe to say that it will be free for everyone for some time. But we really don't know much about the online service that Nintendo will be providing and it could be something that will require more resources. And lets face it, a casual game won't need much online support, unlike "core" games. Something like Mario Party couldn't take even a tenth of the bandwidth that a game like CoD would take. So it's natural to charge those that take much more. If we include the fact that we will soon be out of bandwidth in general (yup, possible, there are only so many wavelengths that you can use for this), it's safe to say that more and more online services that require lot of bandwidth will start charging the costumer in one way or the other.

So it's like the Playstation thing? Cool I guess.

They ran into this when they released Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii. I don't think Nintendo knew what they were getting into.

So wait...most of their stuff will be free, but if they start making more extensive stuff (which they don't expect casual gamers to be interested in), they'll start charging for subscriptions? How is that different from, well...most anything?

Oh, wait, we need to get outraged anyway because Nintendo hates hardcore gamers, and this can be interpreted as them hating us. Somehow.

RAGE!

Well first they'll need to develop an online service worth paying for.

Makes sense. After all, many hardcore gamers seemed more than willing to buy Battlefield Premium and Call of Duty Elite memberships.

NeutralDrow:
So wait...most of their stuff will be free, but if they start making more extensive stuff (which they don't expect casual gamers to be interested in), they'll start charging for subscriptions? How is that different from, well...most anything?

Oh, wait, we need to get outraged anyway because Nintendo hates hardcore gamers, and this can be interpreted as them hating us. Somehow.

RAGE!

This. On all counts. And the headline is pretty misleading.

You know, I understand that gaming is a luxury, and it is a business...but when do customers get to actually feel appreciated by companies? So what this is saying is that those who enjoy games more, put more time, effort, and funds into their systems, library and other things, are going to have to start putting MORE into this habit, while those who are scratching the surface get the easy ride? What's the point of diving it's going to cost a lot more?

Maybe this will just be like PS+ or something, but the industry needs to seriously stop trying to charge more and more and give us less, cause we're at the point of no return soon...

This is why we can't have nice things, Nintendo!

Well, actually, I'd like to know what kind of "perks" those hardcore gamers would have to pay for. Do you mean to say if you wanna play online with CoD or whatever, you'd have to pay? It doesn't seem like it but I'm curious to know.

So far, it sounds like Playstation Plus, where you pay a fee and you get free demos and discounts on games and stuff. But you don't HAVE to get it.

I'm keeping my eyes on you, Nintendo. I'm still not that convinced on that whole WiiU thing. >________>

BiH-Kira:
People should first read the last paragraph and only than start bitching... if they still have a reason to.

1. It's for the most part only to reasure the shareholder that Nintendo has thought out possible solutions for covering the cost.
2. They didn't say they will 100% go with the subscription model right away. He even thought it's not a good idea, but he can't guaranty they won't have to switch.
3. Having a elaborated online service costs money no matter what you think. Take WoW for example. You still have to pay a monthly fee even tho you bought the game. Hosting a such huge service takes quite a bit of resources. An online service can take even much more resources considering the online shop which will basically have ALL future games for Nintendo consoles.

For now it's safe to say that it will be free for everyone for some time. But we really don't know much about the online service that Nintendo will be providing and it could be something that will require more resources. And lets face it, a casual game won't need much online support, unlike "core" games. Something like Mario Party couldn't take even a tenth of the bandwidth that a game like CoD would take. So it's natural to charge those that take much more. If we include the fact that we will soon be out of bandwidth in general (yup, possible, there are only so many wavelengths that you can use for this), it's safe to say that more and more online services that require lot of bandwidth will start charging the costumer in one way or the other.

This is what I was thinking myself and it only makes sense I mean they need to appease 2 different groups who essentially oppose each other without alienating either side that is a very difficult balancing act.

Uh huh. How about you get your internet tubes non crap-ass and into the 21st century with everyone else before you start talking about charging for... what?

What have you got for hard core players? You have Miyamoto. What's he got that requires online? Perhaps it'll be revealed! But you guys are playing frantic catch-up here, I want to see some actual online that doesn't suck before you start talking about charging for it.

Perhaps you could add an 'i' to the front of every friend code?

So they may have to subsidize services used by a minority of their costumers with additional costs?

Dog bites man, news @ 11.

oldtaku:
What have you got for hard core players? You have Miyamoto. What's he got that requires online? Perhaps it'll be revealed! But you guys are playing frantic catch-up here, I want to see some actual online that doesn't suck before you start talking about charging for it.

Dragon Quest X: Rise of the Five Tribes Online...for starters...very possible Wii U Pokemon MMO for afters...ether one will test Nintendos on-line service to the limit.

Irridium:
Makes sense. After all, many hardcore gamers seemed more than willing to buy Battlefield Premium and Call of Duty Elite memberships.

These services more then anything represent a fall in gaming.
That and the whole "shove multiplayer into every game" that EA seems bent on doing.

This announcement could have been worded a lot better. As it stands it's hard to tell if this is going to be an XBL that's only for "hardcore" gamers or if it's going to be Nintendo's version of Playstation Plus. The former would be total BS and the latter would be pretty cool.

now, what does the fact that this bullshit was aimed at shareholders tell us?
it's probably crap
and we will still see nintendrones rising up to defend the hivemind

Sleekit:

oldtaku:
What have you got for hard core players? You have Miyamoto. What's he got that requires online? Perhaps it'll be revealed! But you guys are playing frantic catch-up here, I want to see some actual online that doesn't suck before you start talking about charging for it.

Dragon Quest X: Rise of the Five Tribes Online...for starters...very possible Wii U Pokemon MMO for afters...ether one will test Nintendos on-line service to the limit.

A Pokemon MMO isn't "very possible." You just pulled that out of the air. At no point has Nintendo ever said they want to make an MMO and it's never been said, anywhere, that the WiiU could see a Pokemon game.

So you want to attract a hardcore crowd of gamers by making that single gamers group pay subscirption? sorry, something gone terribly wrong in your head. lately your remarks sound like ramblings of an insane person.

Meh, it sounds sort of like Xbox LIVE Gold to me, or something like paid online DLC. I find no reason to panic over this, Nintendo takes care of people who pay for their stuff, hell that Club Nintendo thing is pretty neat and got me some interesting stuff just for already having games from them.

If they do go to some sort of subscribed membership dealy, they will probably outline what you get with it, and without it to a point that makes the whole deal fair enough. TBH, if a subscription is required to play online, I can usually pass on this, because most of the up and coming Wii U games I want are single player-ish (I would like more serious couch co-op games to rise though). Most of my online play is done through PC, and it seems fair enough to at least consider the ways and means that other consoles use to attract players.

All in all, this hardly seems like its going to be 'required' for anything, so I am not worried.

I hope this means that they plan to make more DLC or something and not limiting your time you can play without a sub.

vague language is vague.

Oh hey, tonnes of people complaining that the Nintendo world is ending. Read it, people. He said "may" a lot in there. Remember every other insane policy that other companies have mentioned in the past that we never heard about again.

Yeah.

"HOW DARE YOU PLAY OUR GAMES ENTHUSIASTICALLY! Pay up or don't play your games online! Ya twatmonkey!

That's what I just read.

What about midcore gamers?

This better not come to fruition. That's so unfair to charge some people to use the same service that others get free just because of the way they use it! That doesn't sound like something Nintendo would do, but it still makes me nervous.

I like how everyone is flaming/panicking when they basically just said "We might possibly have a paid service for advanced online features at some point in the future."

All the more reasons to hate casual gamers?

I'm cool with that.

PSN is a mess compared to Xbox Live. :/

Nintendo has no intention of charging casual gamers for their fun, but the rest may have to pay for their pleasures.

Mental note: The Escapist is not a news site, and shouldn't be treated like one by me.

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