Nintendo could charge for online - Miyamoto

Mario creator suggests publisher needs to solidify business plan for multiplayer and other connected features.

Since the Wii launched, Nintendo has kept the system's basic online functionality completely free. However, the company might not be married to that business model. In an interview with Edge, Nintendo senior managing director and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto addressed Nintendo's online plans, suggesting that the company needs to get its online act together.

Miyamoto suggests Nintendo's online business could be better orchestrated.

"Probably the other thing that we are desperate to realize is the core [online] business structure," Miyamoto said. "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."

However, Miyamoto did defend Nintendo's online efforts to date, noting that the company wants its consoles to be connected online constantly. He also acknowledged that the company "hasn't been very proactive" when it comes to segments like the massively multiplayer online genre, but said the company has implemented online features well in areas "where we can provide our customers with more fun and entertainment."

Nintendo's approach to online gaming has been a subject of much discussion since the days of the GameCube. A week before the system's 2001 North American launch, Miyamoto said Nintendo would only enter the online business when the market is ready. The company's stance toward online remained essentially unchanged until the announcement of the Wii. A Nintendo of America executive in 2002 dismissed connected gaming as "a niche area," and company president Satoru Iwata in 2004 bluntly stated, "customers do not want online games."

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Discussion

473 comments
Syntheotic
Syntheotic

before nintendo gets carried away they should make their online BETTER cuz right now it sux like they should make a whole online system like psn and xbox live and make the online interactions less laggy and better cuz so far it sux u cant rlly talk 2 ppl. theirs not rlly game lobbys just u have to wait for ever to find a sesion or a mathc or what ever sooo yeah nintendo plan all that out before PLUS all the other not rlly nintendo games that actually get produced for the wii like FPS games and smackdown vs raw games should get better online THEN will the wii be at the same league as the others.

Dazanos
Dazanos

If Nintendo adds a monthly fee to play online, it might not suck as bad if they use that money to make it better. I'd be willing to pay if they made a significant upgrade to the online experiance.

Donny972
Donny972

we won't pay. Nintendo's wi-fi is the worst, anyway.

soul_reaver_vii
soul_reaver_vii

Nintendo's online is crap to begin with, why the hell is anyone going to pay for it??? The only reason anyone uses it is because its free. The day they start charging for online is the day Nintendo loses business with me. playing Brawl online is the only reason I use a nintendo console anymore and even that dosen't work well, like I said. If they charge me for that, I'm selling my Wii. It's about time I got rid of the piece of Sh!t anyway.

calvinsora
calvinsora

I'd be fine with the "pay for extra content" route, but I'm not paying for a constant online service. But if they just mean online in-game, and not the Wii store, then it matters little for me, at least.

Bowser05
Bowser05

As long as it ends up being as solid as XBLA then I wouldn't mind paying monthly for it.

ricardo-sene
ricardo-sene

If this charge came with a good amount of "reasons" to pay for it... why not? MS charges, Sony plans to charge.. so why not Nintendo? It just need quality's content.. that's all..

0Aragorn0
0Aragorn0

How much better would the wii be if instead of investing money into periphs like heart rate sensor they put it towards online gaming???

Hahadouken
Hahadouken

Yeah Nintendo should totally introduce paid online before they even figure out free online. Seeing how the Wii currently operates online doesn't give me a lot of faith in paying them for it.

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

Satoru Iwata in 2004, clearly spoke out of his butt. So many online games where already successful in 2004, if I didn't know any better I could swear this was quote from the N64 era.

Eezyville
Eezyville

@ IrshDrkWlf Who said you can read the article and "reason"? This is a bash Nintendo article and we must bash them because they are greedy. j/k Oh god I hope they fix the online crap. But they've had a few years to actually look at whats going on and take note of what people like and dislike. I will be waiting to see what happens. I honestly don't expect much from Nintendo but I hope I am surprised in a good way.

slyfox_28
slyfox_28

@ IrshDrkWlf Finally a voice of reason. It took 5 days before someone actually read the article like I did. I think what he is saying is that Nintendo will most likely charge for online on their next console (I expect an announcement for the new console either at E3 or TGS).

IrshDrkWlf
IrshDrkWlf

Everyone please reread the article Nintendo is not charging for their online service. They are thinking of ways to address it. Its true most people use it for Mario Kart, SSBB, and Monster Hunter, not to mention the VC. I agree that Nintendo should unite their online service under a single username, this would make it easier to keep track of friends and sign into your games. Project Natal is an updated Eye Toy basically, Sony decided that gamers wanted something to hold in their hands and so upon updating the Eye Toy they added a Wiimote. I was not a fan of the Eye Toy, but may try the move because it has a controller. I will not be rushing to buy or play either anytime soon, the Wiimote is just fine as is for interactive gaming. @mysteriojoe Nintendo is not greedy, Apple is all of their items are overpriced. Mario Galaxy is $50 not $60, first party Nintendo games have always held their value til the end of the system's lifespan, if you don't believe that you need to do some research.

KickinIt_ftw
KickinIt_ftw

@DS_ROCKER: "God, I would just smash my Wii with a Sledgehammer, pump it with lead and throw it off a cliff!" Your Wii would likely still run afterwards. I've seen an original Game Boy that was in quarters struck by rocket fire during the first Persian Gulf conflict -- and a GBA that was run over by a main battle tank during the second. Both are still functional (and only marginally singed and/or fractured).

mysteriojoe
mysteriojoe

Oh gee...Now I have to pay to use the uselessWeather channel..... Nintendo has zero online play. They have Maio Kart and that's it. Name 10 titles (with online play ) that are worth playing on the Wii. There are none. Nintendo is such a rip off company. First they overcharge on software, Mario Galaxy is still $60 4 years after it was released. Now they want to charge for something they don't even have. I hope the Wii dies and the iphone kills the DS. Greed is NOT good.

marktex96
marktex96

wow psn is so much better yet free. im not saying its xbox live, but its not friend code crap either. and the only thing i could see u going online for is monster hunter tri

devildothack
devildothack

@nonfanboygamer1 I second that. Wii online interface is worthless and now they plan to charge for it? Unless they improved it to the xbox 360 level then I don't see the point on getting online whatsoever with the Wii.

nonfanboygamer1
nonfanboygamer1

fetusfat18 I completely agree with you.The wii's online capibilities are a joke. Nintendo would actually have to come up with more than 2 games that are actually enjoyable online. Also they would haver to prove their service was at least as good as xbox live for people to pay.

fetusfart18
fetusfart18

Nintendo's online platform would need a complete and utter overhaul and relaunch to even be considered worth paying money for.

jimandsheree
jimandsheree

I think that if Nintendo starts charging for me to play games that are sold as having multiplayer components and-buying games from Nintendo, then I guess that means I'll never buy anything from Nintendo again. Honestly, My PS2 still stands toe to toe with my Wii anyways. It'll just help Xbox-where people get there money's worth, and PS3. I can't think of anything that would be worth paying good money for just to have access to the nintendo channels.

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

And for what exactly is that Miyamoto wants to charge online w/ Nintendo that's so special? :| I would think Nintendo needs to focus on making their 'online' something worth charging for, first, before they actually start throwing out that idea.

IrishBulldog93
IrishBulldog93

wow great idea Nintendo !! this idea should boost your annual income by about . . . . . 50 euro ? dollars ? pounds ? yen ? ye yen sounds good we will go with that one for now . :)

otakubr
otakubr

no way free internet much better like PSN at least in parts

Brilliant_R
Brilliant_R

@rascal777 Sell your Wii and DS just because they might charge for online? If you don't like the idea of paying, then just don't use online (which, btw, isn't all there is to games). You said yourself that you have a good amount of fun games, so what would be the point of selling them just because you decide not to use online anymore? Over-dramatic much?

tclvis
tclvis

I don't use their useless online now when it's free. Why would I bother if they charged?

Drizzle2010
Drizzle2010

charging for online is a good idea as long as its not the wii and a new nintendo console with worthy online.

rascal777
rascal777

*sighs* I have stuck with you this generation Nintendo. I have a good number of wii games that are actually good and fun to play, many of them being online enabled(Conduit, MOH:H2, Mario Kart, Monster Hunter, ect...) However, you were complete idiots about the impact of online and are clearly the worst ones to implement it in gaming. The dreamcast did it better...-_-. Before you even remotely think such diabolical, money-scheming thoughts, you will need to remove friend codes, give online wii users a permanent name of their choosing to represent online, fix atrocious lag issues, implement some sort of reward system(achievements/trophies) AND...have more worthwhile online games to play. If you don't, I will sell my Wii. I have kept and supported the Wii and even DS as you troll on us gamers. I will not stand for this blow in the face. You don't deserve money in a market you either clearly don't care about or clearly have no idea what you are doing.

Exactlamento
Exactlamento

you know what would be awesome... if nintendo locks out anybody that doesnt pay for their online components. Wow, i get queezy just imagining the mass revolt that would insue. But even charging for their broken online would be equally terrible. I am so glad i had sense enough not to jump on that wii band wagon, but then again i got burned on the 360 too...but not nearly as bad as what yall deal with. (in commercial voice) Shovelware, Friend Codes, Half-baked online, last gen graphics, low memory, bearly supported wii plus, Addon widgets!!! And now painted black!!!! Only for the wii folks, only for the wii....

Khatjal
Khatjal

Nintendo executives are very quick to state what gamers want and don't want... and often in an incorrect manner. This is the same company who said that gamers don't want HD gaming a while back... Clearly Nintendo is out of touch with reality. Wii is aimed at kids, a demographic group who doesn't have access to credit cards or as much disposable income as adults. Now to charge for online access, on a sub-par console? This is a perfect example of why Nintendo has lost it's heavyweight title as the gaming system king to Playstation and Xbox.

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

Not to sound like I'm bashing the Wii multiplayer, but are there really more than 3 or 4 multiplayer Wii games worth playing online? I thought the Wii was about sociable local gaming, I know the fun of Mario games for me was beating my local friends in a fast party atmosphere, something lost through online gaming. Unless I'm missing the point and they intend to start charging for ALL things online. Even the voting channels and Mii stuff.

Dekanis
Dekanis

For some reason my brawl online isn't working. I have an extremely good internet company and really good wifi, but it just doesn't connect to the server... Other than that, all my other games work fine. Although I am not about to pay for it...

PandaBear86
PandaBear86

Nintendo needs a unified online system, so you use one Gamertag for all for all your games. That would be nice

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@odgnj5 lol yeah and the PS3 Move has going for it the fact that they accomplished what the Wii-mote did over three years earlier.

odgnj5
odgnj5

The wii will become obsolete when psx move comes out. All they have is the mario and zelda legacy.

mardinn
mardinn

Okay yes It doesn't have a great online true, but he is now suggesting about upgrading it. So there will be No Lag in SSB.

DontEatCream
DontEatCream

As long as it doesn't suck, I'd pay for it.

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

Don't understand why people are complaining about paying for their online. paying for online console wise = better servers and game play experience.

sal5555
sal5555

I think it should only improve, not charge, only for some stuff like movies, extra content, etc. Like the Japan's Wii it has way better online.

SpawnHellraiser
SpawnHellraiser

I'm pretty sure they won't charge for playing online until they have remodeled their online multiplayer features. If they do a good job and perhaps get rid of that Wii code and friend code deal, then I wouldn't mind checking it out. I hardly do multiplayer with the games I got right now anyway so it wouldn't make sense for me to pay. If you don't want to pay for it then don't. The train will keep on moving.

Neosonic23
Neosonic23

We already getting Tourtured With the Silly Friend Code System, So until they change that, its Wise to keep it free.

Dr_Feelgood
Dr_Feelgood

I think charging for basic online gaming at this point is a failing business choice. When Xbox Live first came out, its execution of online gaming was arguably better than the PC, and certainly better than the PS2. That was 8 years ago now. Xbox Live still costs the same as it did, meanwhile Sony now equals Microsoft with their online, and even Nintendo's offerings gets the job done. Xbox Live should be at most $25 per year, if not free.

Brilliant_R
Brilliant_R

Nintendo just hasn't really been trying with online, because it wasn't a priority to them. I'm sure that when they put more effort and understanding into it, they can potentially make their online work very well... I predict, at least... Nintendo's current online isn't exactly as horrific as it's made out to be, but it's definitely not great when compared to the other consoles. The reasons I support Nintendo is their incredible first-party series, their motion-based games that attract a broad audience, and their little to non-violent games; it would be nice to add a good online to that list, though...

vxxbm21
vxxbm21

Thanks MS for showing IT can. After paying for my ISP, I don't think I will be paying more.

Darkmek
Darkmek

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Completely wasted online potential with that game...

Captain_Spoono
Captain_Spoono

GARHG!!! If i'm going to have to pay, i better get a head set that comes with the subscription (Not that Wii Speak Crap!) and NO MORE FREAKING FRIEND CODES!!!

Captain_Spoono
Captain_Spoono

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]