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Wii U online network will be free

Wii U onlineThe Wii U online network — Nintendo Network — will be free to use. Playing games online will be free as well, said Nintendo during their latest investor’s Q&A session. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said that a paid online service is not the best approach for the Wii U. He did however acknowledge that Nintendo isn’t necessarily ruling out a paid online service completely, only Wii U online service will be free to use. Iwata mentioned that having a free service will make it easier to attract users to the new Miiverse service as well.

Microsoft were the first to kick off a paid subscription plan with Xbox Live, and Sony followed suit with its PlayStation Plus service. However, PlayStation 3 users don’t have to pay to play online, and those who pay usually get quite a lot in return, including free games. It’s unknown whether Nintendo could offer a premium Wii U online service in the future.

The Wii U will be the first Nintendo home console to offer a full fledged online system, years after its competitors. Nintendo has always been struggling on that front, and it looks like it’ll make up some ground with the Wii U online capabilities and the new Nintendo Network. We still haven’t seen any major titles to offer online multiplayer gaming on the Wii U, besides Ghost Recon Online, which is scheduled for release in 2013.

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  • thtdude

    THANK GOD

  • Britton

    Awesome! I think X-box Live should be free too, but Microsoft is not as cool as Nintendo.

  • Wii Who

    Not Surprised, But Still Nice to Hear :)

    Beside, I don’t see the point of paying for things like XBL Gold, just to play Multiplayer… It like, I already Pay for Internet to do these things, yet I’m supposed to Buy the Game, and then Pay more to Play “said” game online??

    • thtdude

      so true. that’s one of the reasons i never purchased an Xbox. Out of that generation of consoles i just had the ps3 and wii.

  • Wii Uoops!

    Finally, they got rid of friend codes.

    • Nintendude

      Reggie: Ummm about that…

  • Richnj

    Pokemon MMO NOW! let me just wander around the regions without others ruining my game, but still there if I choose to create a party/trade/battle/ask for tips.

    • James Bowserman

      Yeah, they could do a lot with a pokemon MMO

    • Marq

      A Pokemon MMO would put the Wii U in a ton of homes.

      • JumpMan

        yeah ’cause hardcore Pokemon fans are hardcore Nintendo fans too!

  • uPadWatcher

    Nintendo Network FTW!!!!!!

  • silentbates

    Great news to hear! Glad to see nintendo doing the right choice. FREE!!!

  • Dan7el(WiiU day one purchase)

    Im not surprised about free online either. That’s great! I would actually love it if they implemented a paid service that was totally optional but gave gamers free games and benifits like a playstation plus. I like having the choice to play free or pay to get “free” stuff.

    • Paul

      hell no, even xbox live is better than the psn

    • Poncho

      I agree with you, sir. Don’t know why people downvoted you, as this service would be optional and the free version lets you play online.

  • ConCity Soldier

    Yes sir!! I get to school people on Wii U day 1 while I’m in my dorm room haha.

  • Nana

    You are forgetting the GREAT Dragon Quest X dude…

  • Paul

    nintendo can actually beat the psn as they seem to be offline 5 times a week

    nintendo if you do add games, dlc etc to the store then please to god let us gamers know via your website and direct on the console even if playing a game

  • Indoctrination

    free is always better

  • Your mom

    Two words. HECK YEAH!!! Free is boss

  • nintendon’t

    I just illeagally streamed music from Nintendo Network… D***it, I hear the cops coming!!!- (in the distance) Wii U! Wii U! Wii U!

  • nintendon’t

    Sorry, I meant to say The Fuzz, not the cops.

  • Wii u crazer

    Yess !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my prayers answered.

  • Anonymous

    I think they should make online games, mii verse, and eshop free, but make it so you have to pay for other things like social networks, amazon video, and hulu.

    • JumpMan

      INCORRECT, SIR!

  • useful link

    Not poor at all