Wii U's Online Service Will Be Completely Free
The Wii U's online service, also known as Nintendo Network, will be free to use and not require a subscription.
Nintendo held its annual shareholder meeting today, with Satoru Iwata at the helm of the conference. Iwata spoke at length about the upcoming Wii U and answered questions from both journalists and shareholders.
Iwata said that Nintendo recognizes its lack of early third party support for the Wii, and as such, it started sharing information with third party developers about the Wii U at the same time as its internal developers. The company intends to expand its collaboration with external developers, to which Iwata cited the upcoming Smash Bros. game—currently in development at Namco Bandai—as an example of this cooperation.
Crucially important was Iwata's announcement that the Wii U's online service would be free, not because the company rejects the idea of paid services, but because he believes the Nintendo Network would be better served by word of mouth and having everyone use the Miiverse together for free. It should be noted that the Wii U will not be the only device to connect to the Nintendo Network.
Iwata said that Nintendo will announce pricing plans for the Wii U in the Fall.