Nintendo announced last week that it would be trying its hand at a free-to-play game sometime this fiscal year. We expected the company to bank on one of its franchises, but we didn't see this coming: it will be a sequel to Steel Diver, the 3DS launch game.
Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto told IGN that about the new game, but didn't specify platforms or even how the free-to-play transactions would work. He did comment that the team is currently balancing how to make a good pricing model for the game, and plans to make it a packaged product as well.
"There is something we're doing with the Steel Diver idea that I think is going to open things up with that game," Miyamoto said. "It's going to be very fun. We're exploring from a perspective of where we can take that from a multiplayer standpoint - it's going to have this four-player battle mode that I think is going to be very interesting. It's something that we're hoping to be able to show relatively soon."
Steel Diver was initially a tech demo for the original DS, and was then revived for the 3DS launch with some new features like sea battles using the accelerometer and a multiplayer strategy mini-game. You can check out our review of the original if you need a reminder. In short, "free" might be about the right price.