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Nintendo Considering Online Subscription

Nintendo Considering Online Subscription on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

Shigeru Miyamoto recently questioned whether Nintendo should continue to offer free online play or venture into paid subscription.

Currently games are free to play online using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, however some services maybe subject to charge using "Pay & Play". Speaking to Edge Magazine, Miyamoto revealed that Nintendo are considering whether to change this to a more subscription based scheme, or stick to the "Free, but pay for extras" approach.

He does admit that Nintendo have been less active than they should be, but disputes claims that the console maker isn't "proactive when it comes to online content".

It is true, though, that Nintendo hasn’t been very proactive in developing such online activities as an MMOG. But when it comes to our endeavours that try to take advantage of internet technology, where we can provide our customers with more fun and entertainment, then I think we can say we have been very, very proactive and well-received. And that attitude won’t be changed at all in the future.

What do you think of Nintendo's online approach? Would you pay subscription for improved functionality - e.g. lack of friend codes, single online hub? What would you like to see setup in future Nintendo consoles?

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08.05.2010 12:42

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Pay 19.99 for a basic subscription or 39.99 to choose your own 10 number friend code.

Meeto (guest) 08.05.2010 14:13#2

ha! before they even dream of charging i think they would have to make the experience somewhere closer to what microsoft offer. am i wrong in saying that mario kart and harvest moon are the only MAJOR first party games on offer.

i would like a keyboard for text chat.

I think if made that you have to pay for online gaming is a really stupid move. The fact that its free makes it better. There will be a lot of angry gamers if this was made. Nintendo wont be doing themselves any favours.



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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

If Nintendo offer a subscription and their service is nowhere near Microsoft's level, then they suck. Smilie

Seriously, I'll probably just stop supporting them. It's ridiculous that even Microsoft makes you pay a subscription, but if Nintendo do it with their sub-par online systems? No, just no.

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If they were going to start charging for online, then I expect the service to be at least better than the Playstation Network, but I'd much rather have an online service that's as good as Xbox Live.

If they were going to do it with the Wii, then I'd like to see a complete revamp the the menu system, integrating online features within it and seamlessly. Also, they need to scrap friend codes and just use an invite system and lastly, integrate a proper voice-chat function.

I'd expect they will improve on online functionality on their next console though.

I still dont understand what online subscriptions are needed.
Who pays for PC games online?
Its just MMOs....that give you new content each month, and need dedicated persistent servers.

Most online games just need a cheap match-making server and the games can be client/server between each others Wii's after that.

Why are consoles different? Why must consoles have these odd fee's when its free on PCs :?

am i wrong in saying that mario kart and harvest moon are the only MAJOR first party games on offer.

Smash Bros is pretty major.

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Where did Harvest Moon come from anyway? It's not major, it's not first party, and iirc it doesn't even have proper WiFi, item trading at the most.

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meeto1 (guest) 08.05.2010 17:38#8

SuperLink said:
Where did Harvest Moon come from anyway? It's not major, it's not first party, and iirc it doesn't even have proper WiFi, item trading at the most.

it was a quick guess. but what you say furthers my point. there is not a full service that deserves payment. my only online experience is grand slam tennis but i think that uses ea servers: enjoyable as it is it has way too many online bugs. with the wii this is harder to patch and is another problem with charging on the wii platform. again some of the hardware features from the other console would be advantages

Remember we have a decent web-browser. In that regard we actually beat both Sony and Microsoft's systems.

So its not like Nintendo cant get anything right online.
Its just, ironically, its the non-gaming stuff.

A full list of Wii online games,btw;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wii_Wi-Fi_Connection_games

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Darkflame said:
Remember we have a decent web-browser. In that regard we actually beat both Sony and Microsoft's systems.

So its not like Nintendo cant get anything right online.
Its just, ironically, its the non-gaming stuff.


The Internet Channel isn't even Nintendo developed. Yeah it's pretty good, but games consoles aren't for internet browsing, and when you have a laptop or something it's pretty much useless.

The Wii Shop Channel really needs to be made more accessible, easy to use, better loading, like the XBOX Live Marketplace. For a "casual friendly" shop, it takes far too long to load, and you can't download things in the background.

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Background downloading would help a lot, but I dont think its that much slower then the Microsoft one actually. Especially if you factor in the consoles boot time.
Cacheing using WiiConnect24 though would make it instant, however. So Nintendo could certainly do a lot better.

"The Internet Channel isn't even Nintendo developed. Yeah it's pretty good, but games consoles aren't for internet browsing, and when you have a laptop or something it's pretty much useless."

I disagree to some extent, its quite handy if you want to put a YouTube video on the TV. (often to show my parents things).
The iPlayer functionality is also killer. But I think the PS3 has that too now.

Also, while the Internet channel is made by Opera, Nintendo at least picked the right firm to go for (Opera uses very little resources while being tops at standards), and worked with them to get it as best as possible. (keyboard support etc).
Microsoft meanwhile makes their own browser, but cant even get it to work on their console, and is too proud to ask anyone else to make one Smilie

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Darkflame said:
but I dont think its that much slower then the Microsoft one actually. Especially if you factor in the consoles boot time.

It really is, the 360's boot time isn't that much longer than the Wii's, and there is literally no loading from page to page. Sometimes the Wii Shop Channel has to load for up to 30 seconds or more.

I disagree to some extent, its quite handy if you want to put a YouTube video on the TV. (often to show my parents things).
The iPlayer functionality is also killer. But I think the PS3 has that too now.

Yeah PS3 has iPlayer, and it's not very handy to quit a game and load up the internet channel just to show your parents something on YouTube, if you have a laptop it's far more efficient to just show them on that instead.

Microsoft meanwhile makes their own browser, but cant even get it to work on their console, and is too proud to ask anyone else to make one Smilie

I'm not denying the Wii has the best browser, I'm just saying the whole idea of a console browser is hardly something important, and the fact that the only thing the Wii has better than the others is something that is useless when it comes to gaming means the Wii has a lot to catch up on.

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Jim (guest) 08.05.2010 22:31#13

Who ever said they where going to charge for the current system?

It's either thinking on the next console or for the 3DS.

Love it when people jump to conclusions.

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Jim (guest) said:
Who ever said they where going to charge for the current system?

It's either thinking on the next console or for the 3DS.

Love it when people jump to conclusions.


Even worse. In this day and age Microsoft imo just barely gets away with making you pay a subscription (I think it's ridiculous), and their online system is far and away the best on the market.

Online gaming should be getting cheaper with every progressing gen. If Nintendo's 8th gen systems have subscriptions where I bet MS would have an even cheaper or even free system, then that would be awful.

( Edited 08.05.2010 17:34 by SuperLink )

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I actually don't see anything about paying for a subscription anywhere in that quote, but Nintendo would be pretty stupid to do that. It's no secret that they have, by far, the worst online setup of the big three. The gaming quality itself can be every bit as good as the Xbox, depending on the game, but the vast majority of games require stupid friend codes and don't let you interact the way you want. Why would I pay for that? Sony's setup is better, and their is free. I don't think Nintendo is seriously considering this.
Now, if they want people to pay more but the money goes to an actual good setup, where we can, say, talk to each other, do friend requests, and, dare I say it, HAVE DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT, then it might be worth it. But they'd need to offer that from the start, not promise it'll come later. The Conduit is hardly playable because High Voltage can't fix it, Modern Warfare doesn't get the extra maps the other two systems get, etc. etc. because of bandwidth limitations on developers, and let's face it, if there's anyone out there who approves of the friend code system, let me know. But if they aren't going to do that, there's no way I'd pay to play. I don't even like the idea of paying the Xbox fees, so there's no way I'd do it for Nintendo's online service. Sorry, big N, it just won't happen.

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Jim (guest) 09.05.2010 05:49#16

Even worse. In this day and age Microsoft imo just barely gets away with making you pay a subscription (I think it's ridiculous)

Online gaming should be getting cheaper with every progressing gen. If Nintendo's 8th gen systems have subscriptions where I bet MS would have an even cheaper or even free system, then that would be awful.

Cheaper? Why on earth would it get cheaper?

Maybe you have been living under a rock or something, but Live subscription has not dropped since the PS3 arrived and continues to thrive.
Most people don't mind paying at all.

Sony is probably raging they didn't try charging now and I expect they will try and charge in the future in some form, probably with there next console but I wouldn't be surprised to see some kind of service in the near future that requires premium access.

So in fact it's probably more likely things will get even more expensive as MS and Sony continue to add features to their service and then turn around and demand more money for access to these.

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Jim (guest) said:

Maybe you have been living under a rock or something, but Live subscription has not dropped since the PS3 arrived and continues to thrive.
Most people don't mind paying at all.

It should drop though, as time passes, people are paying less and less for online things, whereas it used to be the norm in the past. I'm guessing that if MS don't drop subscription fees by the end of the gen, their next gen console will be cheaper or free.

As time goes on people are going to be less and less happy with paying for online. Also I can think of many people who aren't completely happy with paying for XBL.

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Jim (guest) 09.05.2010 13:54#18

Why would they drop it when millions still pay for it?
Infact multiplayer games like cod4 are more popular on 360 still! Despite live costing money.
Untill they have massive amounts of subscribers cancelling then the price will remain the same.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I want integration - I'm not so fussed about subscriptions and the like, but having more of a hub based approach would benefit both Nintendo and Wii owners.

At the moment it's all a bit isolated to channels - the Nintendo channel is a decent source of videos and other tidbits but you need to go into it to see all the updates. Same with the Wii Shop - you can see titles and bits as channel icons, but I would much rather have a more Dashboard/Xbox 360 approach - not necessarily visually, but conceptually most definitely.

I'd like to turn on the Wii and see the latest VC/WiiWare games to download, the latest trailers and friends online. Each friend should have a profile with the Wi-Fi enabled games they've got.

But I definitely say no to friend codes, surely any sane person would agree?

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No thanks, all my friends are on Xbox Live and the only games that really stand a chance of having a consistent community are First Party ones, and even most of those flag quite quickly.

Add me on anything. I'm always looking for new friends/opponents/town visitors/chances to appear more popular than I actually am.

The only thing I ever paid for online was World of Warcraft.
Unless it's really cheap and had good service/quality, I don't want to pay to play.

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