Feb. 22nd, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO -- Nintendo's Wi-Fi Connection service has always been entirely free of charge, but the company will soon introduce a pay-to-play service for some games, it announced at Game Developers Conference.
"Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Pay And Play" will let users subscribe on a game-by-game basis to certain titles. Nintendo project leader Takashi Aoyama announced the service at GDC, but did not say what upcoming games would require payment for the service, or how much they would cost.
To avoid customer confusion, Pay-And-Play games will have a red icon on the game's box that reads Pay And Play, in place of the traditional blue Wi-Fi Connection icon, which will only be used for games that are free to play.
This is a pretty big change for Nintendo, who has always been adamant about wanting online gameplay to be free. While this might attract more developers to the service with a new revenue stream, it also might confuse consumers -- and be a hassle if the payment system isn't easy. You'll use Wii Points to pay for the online gaming, so it should be interesting to see if this extends to the DS Lite or if it's just restricted to Wii.