In a recent investor briefing, Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata discusses the online strategy for the Wii U. The conversation took place at the 72nd annual general meeting of shareholders for Nintendo. There, investors voiced concerns about the rising costs associated with Nintendo exploring the online arena with the Wii U, a space where the company has watched its competitors dominate for some time.
So how does Nintendo plan to generate negate the costs associated with the Nintendo Network? They won’t be charging a penny for access like Microsoft, and there aren’t any premium tiers scheduled like the PlayStation Plus. Instead, Nintendo seems to have their eye on other methods.
“We cannot promise here 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.”
“However, our aim is that network services will eventually contribute to our overall profits even if they are available for free,” Iwata continues. “More specifically, network services will let you communicate with other people, visualize what they are interested in and tell you something you did not know. Haven’t you ever had an experience that one of your friends introduced you to a song or a movie and that you regret not watching the movies by a certain director or listening to the songs by a certain artist in your life until then? If we are not aware of them, they are virtually nonexistent to us. Exactly the same thing can be said about video games. In developing a network service called “Miiverse” available for the Wii U, we are pursuing how to amplify and transmit consumers’ empathy about a game.”
Nintendo doesn’t expect for there to be a windfall of profits at the onset of the Nintendo Network, but with time the infrastructure costs will be “achieved eventually,” the CEO concluded.