Nintendo May Rethink Free Online Connectivity

Nintendo’s free-of-charge connectivity for online Wii and DS play has long been staple of the company’s strategy. Shigeru Miyamoto believes it may be time to rethink that guiding principle, though, and putting a price on Nintendo Wi-Fi use could be a part of the answer.

“Probably the other thing that we are desperate to realise is the core [online] business structure,” Nintendo’a entertainment analysis and development boss told Edge. “Do we need to demand customers pay monthly fees to enjoy online activities? Or give an online subscription that is free of charge, but then offer something extra for people that pay, so that they get some extra value? With these core business strategies I think we are less active than we should be.”

Miyamoto dismissed suggestions that Nintendo has been less proactive than its competition at Microsoft and Sony in developing its online presence, but he did suggest that massive multiplayer online gaming could be a field to examine further.

“It is true, though, that Nintendo hasn’t been very proactive in developing such online activities as an MMOG,” he explained. “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.”

Does that mean we could see a “Smash Bros.” MMO down the road? Well, maybe not, but Wii and DS owners will be quite interested to see what decisions Nintendo makes based on Miyamoto’s comments here.

Would it bother you if Nintendo implemented a pay model for online play? Do you think they should stick with what they’ve got? Share your reactions in the comment section below.