Friday, May 7, 2010

Nintendo could charge for online

Written by pikaby

So far, DS and Wii players have been able to go online with their consoles completely free of charge. But Miyamoto said that could change in the future. Nintendo, using paid online? I laugh at you.

Taken from Miyamoto's interview with EDGE Magazine, Shigsy looks now to profit from Nintendo's online scene.

"Probably the other thing that we are desperate to realize is the core [online] business structure," "Do we need to demand customers pay monthly fees to enjoy online activities? Or give an online subscription that is free of charge, but then offer something extra for people that pay, so that they get some extra value? With these core business strategies, I think we are less active than we should be."

I don't know about you, but that move will completely demolish whatever fragile foundations Nintendo has on the online scene, and then some. For one thing, among the three consoles this generation, it has the weakest online network, requiring antiquated Friend Code systems, different for each game, and the console has to be powered on to receive any messages. WiiConnect24 is a term no one uses any more, because errors and unstable connections are the norm everytime you try to make use of it. And the usual connection speed for online games is terrible. If you've ever tried to play a game on Smash Bros. Brawl or The Conduit., you'll know.

Miyamoto acknowledged that the company "hasn't been very proactive" when it comes to segments like the massively multiplayer online genre, but said the company has implemented online features well in areas "where we can provide our customers with more fun and entertainment."

Of course you know that too. Everyone knows your online sucks, so by all means, go improve it. I'll bet a tenner everyone wants you to do away with the Friend Codes, first and foremost. Whatever happened to a universal name for all games on the same console? Oh, but there's more than one person sharing the console? Introduce a login/logout system! And improve the connection speed!

Consider also, that most of the people who currently go online are the casual gamers introduced to gaming by DS and Wii alone. Already this group of people won't find much to enjoy from Nintendo's limited online experience. Nintendo went to great lengths to even convince casuals that online games even exist, let alone make them come online and play a round of Mario Kart and download something off the Wii/DSi Shop Channel. Making them pay to play? It would only crush whatever little progress Nintendo has made into online gaming. Capcom realized this with Monster Hunter Tri and made the online portion free to play on the US and European versions, where Monster Hunter isn't as established as it is in Japan. Grow a brain, Nintendo.

Also, know all your sales figures? How many Wiis have been sold in the span of four years? That many millions, right? *is too lazy to re-check* How many of those were sold in the major regions, Japan, US, Europe and Australia? I'll get to the point now. How many Wiis were sold that AREN'T in the four major regions?

Right now, Microsoft gets it right, you can pay for Live subscription anywhere in the world, but not Nintendo. Can't buy Nintendo Points because it isn't sold in your country? Charge it with a credit card! Simple enough, right? No. Nintendo USA only bills credit cards from the US/Canada only. International players are all screwed. You know the country select in the Wii System Menu?DSi System Menu? You put in any country, ANY country that isn't the United States, you won't be able to go into the Wii Shop Channel/ DSi Shop Channel because 'The Shop Channel is not available in your country'. Bullshit. Cyberspace can be accessed from anywhere in the world. It's not like I can't establish a connection with your shop server if I lived in Antigua and Barbuda, for instance. So I have to lie about my country just to use your online store?

Don't believe me? Go try it. Nintendo are too blind to notice that there are real people outside North America that wants to play online but can't make full use of it because it discriminates against everyone who wants to pay money outside of that region. If Nintendo decides to charge for even being able to go online, with its current payment policy, it's effectively a complete lockdown for everyone who doesn't live in the same continent as the Nintendo HQ. You have customers and buyers who contributed to your profit margin that aren't in any of these places, Nintendo. You have SUPPORTERS and FANS outside the United States! We love you, so why won't you love us in return? What did we do to deserve this? Not being able to join Club Nintendo is fine. But you have to lock us out even online?

Nintendo has already made this much profit with their console and handheld sales already. They've captured the hearts of millions with their innovation and creativity and bringing new gaming experiences to the table. But it seems Nintendo is losing a grip of itself these days. Come on, Sony has much better online than Nintendo, and they don't charge a cent for it, no matter where you are in the world. If Nintendo gets greedy with this online business they might just find that even more people would leave their consoles behind.

Of course, if it's the second alternative.....being able to play for free and then have extra features paid for, then there's no complaint. Just review your payment policy so a Malaysian Nintendo supporter like me can actually use your online to its fullest potential.
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