Wii won't allow online fees

Written by Brett Thomas

August 16, 2006 // 4:09 p.m.

Tags: #live #microsoft #nintendo #wii #xbox

The CEO of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, sat down with USA TODAY recently and firmed up some lingering questions on the upcoming Wii launch. Though the discussion revolved largely around the business behind the Wii, there are some gold nuggets about Ninty's online plans that every gamer would be interested in.

Reggie went out of his way to stress that Nintendo will not pursue a subscription-based model for online play. "We view online gaming as essentially an enhanced way to enjoy the gaming experience and drive more sales of hardware and software," he said. He went on to further elaborate, saying "We will offer online-enabled games that the consumers will not have to pay a subscription fee for. They'll be able to enjoy that right out of the box. The Wii console is going to be Wi-Fi enabled, so essentially, you'll be able to plug it in and go. It won't have hidden fees or costs."

No hidden fees or costs will certainly be a different model compared to the Microsoft's Live service. However, XBox Live can certainly be said to offer something for its price. Unfortunately, we do not know enough about Ninty's online structure to understand whether its service will be comparable to the extras that Live offers, or whether it will be about just hooking up and playing the games.

For whatever reason, other news reports have been citing USA TODAY's article along with a "Below $250 USD" price tag. However, despite my best efforts, I can find no confirmation of a price in Reggie's words. He did, however, go on to comment on Microsoft's E3 claim about buying a 360 and a Wii for less than Sony's PS3:

"I'd much rather have the consumer buy a Wii, some accessories, and a ton of games, vs. buying any of my competitor's products."

Got a thought on the newest info? Is a subscription model for online entertainment a fair thing to ask in the first place, or do you see this as Nintendo just going in a different direction with the online avenue entirely? Do the little extras of XBox Live make a difference to you? Let us know your thoughts in our forums.

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