updated 01:16 pm EDT, Fri June 29, 2012
No additional 3DS models to come
The Miiverse, Nintendo's online social component for its forthcoming Wii U game console, will be free to play and connect to. Gaming site Genjitsu Game listened in on Nintendo's annual shareholder meeting, discovering the online pricing as well as Nintendo's plans regarding additional models of its 3DS handheld console. The game company also addressed concerns that it would not be able to attract third party support for the Wii U, saying that it was handling third-party interactions differently with the Wii U than it had with previous consoles.
Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said that, while he doesn't reject the idea of a paid online service, Nintendo's user base makes the idea less feasible. Microsoft, the leader in online gaming among console makers, charges $50 per year for its Xbox Live online gaming option, but Nintendo's users tend to skew younger than Microsoft's. The company also set a free online precedent with its Wii console, and breaking from that tradition would likely alienate some fans.
As to the 3DS, Nintendo said that the normal version and the recently introduced 3DS XL were the only versions customers could look forward to in the near future.
Shareholders also asked Iwata how the company plans to attract third-party publishers, who have typically shied away from Nintendo consoles over the last three generations. Iwata said that the company has been working much more closely with third parties this time around. The company reportedly began sharing information about the Wii U with third parties around the same time it did with its own internal teams.