Nintendo president Satoru Iwata says Nintendo cannot promise it will not ever charge for “deep” online services on Wii U, but did ensure that “ordinary” online services will remain free.
Eurogamer report that Iwata addressed the company’s shareholders where he stated the following:
“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,
“But at least we are not thinking of asking our consumers to pay money to just casually get access to our ordinary online services.”
Iwata explained that Nintendo have a wide variety of customers, from the casual to the more avid gamer. A subscription similar to that of Microsoft’s Xbox Live would not suit more casual gamers who would not necessarily be ‘gaming’ as often.
We can deduce that the payable services for the more “deeper” online services would be to cater for the more ‘core’ gamer who would more regularly make use of such a service.