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GDC 08: Nintendo Launching Pay-to-Play Program for Online Gaming

During a morning session at the Game Developers Conference, Nintendo network administration manager Takashi Aoyama announced a new program that will see Wii users being charged for service while using Wi-Fi enabled games.

Aoyama referred to the program as "Pay and Play," and noted that games supporting it will be marked with a new red Wi-Fi logo to ensure players are not mistakenly charged. No details were provided on the program, though it was noted that Wii Points will serve as the method of payment.

The network guru also mentioned that a new data compression solution will soon take care of Wii storage concerns, shrinking software to a tiny size until needed.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 22, 2008 12:24 PM

    i assume this is a service without shitty friend codes and such? or persistent mmo type games?

    if not, who would pay for that crap?

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      February 22, 2008 12:26 PM

      It's very vague at this point.

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      February 22, 2008 12:26 PM

      They probably realised they can't do something like xbox live without some fee. I wonder if Smash Bros will be one of these titles.

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        February 22, 2008 12:33 PM

        i don't think so, because the game is already out in japan with free online play.

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          February 22, 2008 12:36 PM

          Nintendo also has a respectable network infrastructure in Japan. They only have a very basic Wi-Fi network setup for the DS in some parts of the US.

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            February 22, 2008 12:44 PM

            uhm..... think about what you're actually saying here...

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              February 22, 2008 12:59 PM

              Uh that in Japan they can host free online play because they own the network directly where in the US they may have to outsource the network, costing them money and in turn prompting them to consider charging the consumer for the cost?

              All I'm saying is what is done in Japan doesn't automatically translate to the US because the situation is different.

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                February 22, 2008 1:04 PM

                I don't see why they'd have to outsource in the USA anymore than in Japan. They don't own a backbone or anything, they're paying for bandwidth too. Your original comment made no sense to me because of your "Basic Wi-Fi network" claim. What are you talking about? The deal with McDonalds where you don't have to pay to use the access point?

                No matter where you are in the world, you're connecting to the internet (which is your responsibility), and then connecting to Nintendo's servers. If they want to charge ala xbox live to cover bandwidth costs and new features, that has nothing to do with them having a deal at McDonalds for free wifi

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                February 22, 2008 1:06 PM

                i don't really understand what you are saying. the whole 'nintendo WFC' thing is because the devices (DS & Wii) are wireless / wi-fi enabled. there will still be nintendo WFC games that are free in addition to these newly labelled ones. smash bros brawl is one of the free games.

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                  February 22, 2008 1:08 PM

                  yea, I can't make sense of what the hell he's getting at

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                    February 22, 2008 2:06 PM

                    I guess you don't know how to read?

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                      February 22, 2008 2:16 PM

                      GOOD ONE!!

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                      February 22, 2008 2:17 PM

                      And if you get it, please explain. There's no reason why NOA and NOJ wouldn't have the same infrastructure considering they'd both have to pay to create them

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                        February 22, 2008 3:31 PM

                        Japan is a tiny little island nation with an advanced and complete network coverage and Nintendo owned data centers and Nintendo private network coverage.

                        The US is a giant landmass with poor network coverage and corporate(phone company) owned segments which can charge Nintendo usage fees to use their networks since they don't own the line coverage. Unlike Sony with SoE and Microsoft, Nintendo does not have a private network in place in the US like they do in Japan.

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                          February 22, 2008 3:44 PM

                          Uh.. SOE definitely pays bandwidth charges just like everyone else. I've never heard once of Nintendo owning a magical japanese backbone either. There are very few people that can "write off" bandwidth charges because of their placement on the backbone. It'll cost Nintendo just as much here to create a service as japan.

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                            February 22, 2008 4:09 PM

                            It's not about owning a backbone, its about having a network established. These networks need data centers. Data centers also need to be connected and this backoffice connection is expensive to maintain over a public backbone. That's why we have private networks. Nintendo full PRIVATE data center coverage in Japan all connected through a private network.

                            The US is bigger, its needs more data centers for coverage and longer private lines to connect them or expensive fees to use the public backbones. Nintendo also does not have any of these datacenters setup in the US. That's why we have friends codes rather than a centralized logon system like we do with PSN and Live.

                            The cost difference for Nintendo to run a network in Japan compared to the US should be dead obvious.

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                              February 22, 2008 5:59 PM

                              Show me one place that says Nintendo has this amazing private network covering Japan.

                              They don't need multiple data centers, they need a lot of servers and can operate out of one central place; last time i checked, xbox live does.

                              The reason we use friend codes is because nintendo is afraid of anonymity with children, nothing more.

                              Japan uses friend codes too.

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        February 22, 2008 12:57 PM

        Do something like Xbox Live? You mean offer a matchmaking service?

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      February 22, 2008 12:46 PM


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      February 22, 2008 12:58 PM

      I assume it is just for MMO type games......I hope.

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        February 22, 2008 1:03 PM

        This is what it sounds like to me.

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        February 22, 2008 1:07 PM

        if they charge for any of genres they better seriously step up their online implementation

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