News Article

Nintendo Considered Monthly Fee for 3DS Always-On Internet

Posted by James Newton

Went with SpotPass instead

Nintendo's idea with the 3DS is, in the company's own words, "Carry Around, Affect Each Other and Something New Every Day". At one time there was a rumour that 3DS would contain 3G functionality, allowing gamers to access the Internet wherever they were as a modern mobile phone would, and president Satoru Iwata confirmed the company looked into the feature but ultimately decided against it.

Discussing the disappointing uptake of online features among Wii and DS owners, Iwata believes the key to getting players online with 3DS is by making everything as simple as possible, and part of that means making it free.

Should the purchasers of Nintendo 3DS be willing to pay monthly fees, we could integrate a function similar to the ones embedded within mobile phones so that the machine would always be connected with the Internet. However, people who are willing to pay monthly fees for entertainment products will not become the majority. Because of this background, we wanted to create a situation where Nintendo 3DS could connect to the Internet from time to time just as long as their owners carry it around wherever they go in their daily lives, so that they could receive new messages, offers or even new software, from Nintendo. This is why we have incorporated the function called, "SpotPass."

The company is set to roll out a new wave of "Nintendo Zones" in its native Japan, beefing up the number of locations at which players will be able to connect to the Internet simply and easily, preferring to do this rather than charge monthly subscription fees to gamers.

By encouraging users to connect their console at home regularly with the SpotPass feature, a 3G connection may not be necessary, but would you rather have a 3G connection too?

[via nintendo.co.jp]

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User Comments (67)

SamsN_ite

#3

SamsN_ite said:

Would have been cool.... but then the 3DS would have been more around $400 by then, I mean the 3G iPad is $130 more than the regular one for that cellular chip..... One day right?

Oregano

#4

Oregano said:

I'd rather not have a monthly fee, and a lot of more 'casual' users wouldn't want a monthly fee either. The only other way would be to bump up the cost and the 3DS is already expensive enough.... and that would alienate casual users too.

This might be the best way for now, it probably had an effect on price because they have to set up these partnerships but nowhere close to what 3G would cost.

LordJumpMad

#5

LordJumpMad said:

Fee? as in Pay Money?

If the online is not like X-box 360, then I'm not paying nothing.
Nintendo has the worst online out of the 3 consoles.
unless I see a Big update from what we have now

Token_Girl

#6

Token_Girl said:

This was a good decision. I'm already paying for 3G on my phone. I also don't know of any carrier in the States with 3G fast/reliable enough to play something like Mario Kart DS online. Utilizing Wifi we already have is ideal!

MasterGraveheart

#8

MasterGraveheart said:

Well, while 3G would have been nice, I think SpotPass is the better solution in the long run... save our money to buy more 3DS games! :)

GamesX99

#9

GamesX99 said:

hmm i dont know if this is wise for today everyone have passwords on their internet

Robo-goose

#10

Robo-goose said:

At first, I read the title as "Nintendo Consider ing Monthly Fee for 3DS Always-On Internet"
Right now, I am recovering from shock.

fishman100

#11

fishman100 said:

i seriously hope not. i don't want to pay extra for Spotpass when I already have to pay like $300 for the console itself.

childofacid

#13

childofacid said:

I too wonder how this feature will work. Most wifi signals are locked unless you are at a Starbucks...but even then sometimes I cant get my DSi to connect to the wifi signal.

Peznaze

#16

Peznaze said:

Yup, Nintendo's online sucks because the majority of purchasers can't be bothered to put the device online. But then, with sub-par online content, there's no reason to put your device online. But then nobody's online and there's no reason to publish online content. But then there's less reason to put your device online. But then there's less reason to publish online content. And so on.

This would be their solution to the catch-22. Make the 3DS go online whenever it can, however it can.

SwerdMurd

#17

SwerdMurd said:

Good decision, Nintendo. So far I have yet to see one compelling reason why the X-box Live service costs money in the first place.

BooJoh

#19

BooJoh said:

As someone who will likely only ever get SpotPass connections at home, I would've liked to see it as an option, but not mandatory. Unfortunately that would've driven up the hardware costs even for people who stuck with SpotPass. Maybe next gen.

brandonbwii

#20

brandonbwii said:

That Nintendo Zone news is good as far as Japan is concerned but what about SpotPass overseas? I honestly can't see too many people connecting in the US even if the service is free and convient and is marketed correctly. I get the feeling that the first and foremost function advertised in other territories will of course be it's 3D capabilities.

Hardy83

#21

Hardy83 said:

Sorry, but compared to other online services, Nintendo should be paying us for theirs. I have little hope in their service being anything within this decade in terms of capabilities and functionality.

BulbasaurusRex

#22

BulbasaurusRex said:

Good. I hate monthly fees even for good content that I really like. I just want to pay once and not have to worry about it again.

Brainhost

#23

Brainhost said:

Well of course they were considered. For what they want to do, it's not surprising that monthly fees passed the drawing board while designing the system's connectivity.

But yeah, I'm glad they went with SpotPass, just cause I'm a cheap barsteward.

HvE

#27

HvE said:

Yeah, I agree that it is a good decision. Very few people would be willing to pay monthly for a HANDHELD GAME CONSOLE.

Rasche

#28

Rasche said:

I'm glad they decided against it. I wouldn't have liked that anyways.

MeloMan

#31

MeloMan said:

I'd rather have free of course, I pay enough subscriptions for phones, internet, netfix, gamefly, utility bills, house bills, car insurance and points in between.

I will say that if Nintendo ever nailed a recipe for game system and cell phone, whereas it would be economically functionally feasible to do, then I would turn in my cell phone and do EVERYTHING with that system-- game, talk, text, surf, etc. But as Nintendo has said, they are games first, so I highly doubt this scenario w/ come to be... at least any year soon.

shingi_70

#32

shingi_70 said:

they should have put out a 3g model. And to those saying people wouldn't pay most tablet makers are going 3g and the 3g ipad is the best selling one.

timp29

#33

timp29 said:

Yeah 3G is pretty unreliable. In the city where I live, in the city and around the main university, the local 3G is pushed to the limit from all the iPhone users. I think the 3G infrastructure has a way to go (especially in speed) before 3G is a reliable wireless option.

grumblebuzzz

#34

grumblebuzzz said:

I'm not really sold on the Spotpass thing. I live in a rural area where, most likely, I will be one of the few people to have a 3DS for a number of years. It's kind of one of those features that's only cool if you live in a metropolitan area. Oh well. I just hope the online, in whatever context, is decent.

wedgeredleader

#35

wedgeredleader said:

If one wanted Internet anywhere (with cell towers in range) one could buy a verison/sprint mifi or a clearwire spot... But standard wifi is good enough for me

GammaGames

#36

GammaGames said:

i wouldnt of paid, but it would have been a cool (and probably not available where I live) feature.

SilverBaretta

#37

SilverBaretta said:

This is probably the next best thing to 3G, at least as far as a gaming device goes. I also want some of those Nintendo Zones to come to the West! That would really boost marketing a bit.

Blizzaga

#39

Blizzaga said:

One thing that I really love about Nintendo is their traditional views of gaming. They wouldn't charge you to play with your friends in the living room, so charge you to play online?

Arcanum

#40

Arcanum said:

They should have simply made one with 3G and then normal ones. It just gives us the choice if we want to have 3G or not and therefore attract more consumers

motang

#42

motang said:

Good thing they aren't cause I wouldn't pay for it! I have enough bills.

komicturtle

#43

komicturtle said:

If the 3DS can connect to my phone through Bluetooth connection to go online through 3G, I'd be SOOO happy. I hope they incorporated bluetooth technology to connect to cellphones to use my internet connection. My phone is ALWAYS on me, and it'd be convenient for that to happen. That way, we don't always have to rely on hot-spots or whatever to take advantage of Spotpass. I believe Pokemon Crystal used a cellphone to connect online for trades and battles (connecting the GBC to the phone). Really hoping this is true...

WiiLovePeace

#44

WiiLovePeace said:

Huh? Spending a monthly fee on a gaming device or on games? Oh helllll no! Worst idea ever. Thanks Nintendo for making the right decision :D

Stuffgamer1

#46

Stuffgamer1 said:

If the goal is to have your system connect to the web often, as they seem to be saying, 3G would've been the best option in America. We aren't built the same way Japan is (country-city-etc.-wise), and the same product doesn't always work as well here as it does there. Tag Mode has ALWAYS been much more successful and useful in Japan, for example, due to the commonplace public transport and mass pedestrian travel. The fact that we don't have any "Nintendo Zones" certainly isn't helping.

I would love to be able to play online with my system regardless of my location. A handheld practically teathering you to the house because you want to go online seems like a purpose well defeated. That said, I'll have no problem getting downloads and updates at home, which is the most important thing to me anyway.

Objection

#47

Objection said:

So like, cheaper is better. You can always sell a 3G dongle or something in the future and gauge interest that way.

miketh2005

#48

miketh2005 said:

What if your 3DS that was offline (you dont have WiFi) connected to another 3DS that was online had had all news updates etc. and your 3DS can get updated that way? That would be cool!

Capt_N

#49

Capt_N said:

@Robo-goose: I just experienced similar.

This is but a move by N b/c:
1. Top priority is to combat piracy. Making it free, easy, & tempting to go online w/ the system. The system would, or could in theory, have pirates always kept in check by scanning other systems for unauthorized modifications, & be scanned for the same whenever it encounters another 3DS. etc.
2. Despite their online lacking compared to the others, it is free. That plays in their corner, as incentive to own the system, since players can have their handheld online gaming(particularly Mario Kart, & maybe even Smash) for free.

I feel that N's idea of having the system constantly on is more for anti-piracy however. This is probably their new set of tricks for Ko-ing piracy, that they were talking about in the past.

freakpower70

#53

freakpower70 said:

I would not have gotten the 3DS if there was a monthly fee for 3G. I don't need another monthly payment.

komicturtle

#55

komicturtle said:

Thus why I said for the 3DS should connect to your cellphone to go online IF you're paying for internet 3G access for your phone.

Nintendoftw

#56

Nintendoftw said:

I think it's a great idea. Just put spot pass for free users and 3G for subscription users.

Plus guys the 3DS is NOT 300$ so STOP saying it is.

theblackdragonAdmin

#57

theblackdragon said:

@Nintendoftw: in yen, it's about $300. until we know exactly how much they're going to charge for it once it hits the west, the phrase "like $300" in terms of describing how expensive the 3DS will be is perfectly acceptable.

Slapshot

#59

Slapshot said:

The chances of me paying for a online Nintendo service is slim to none, because Nintendo is and always has been so far behind in online gaming its flat out ugly.

mjc0961

#60

mjc0961 said:

@3: That's only because Apple rips people the hell off. Even the iPad without the 3G tech is overpriced.

Anyway I'm glad they didn't go with 3G for a different reason. Not everyone has good cellular coverage, and 3G would have rendered the device impotent for some people. I am one of those people and thus am glad they left 3G out in favor of Wi-Fi and a new tag mode.

Nintendoftw

#61

Nintendoftw said:

theblackdragon- The DS in Japan was over 200$ in american money. The DSi in Japa was also over 200$. They ALWAYS get slashed because they know that people in the UK and America are not stupid.

RoyalBlur

#63

RoyalBlur said:

I'm so thankful that Nintendo didn't choose to have monthly fees for the Nintendo 3DS. That would have been a death nail for the 3DS as the price of $199.99 will already shatter the glass for some who are already annoyed with the $249.99 price of the PSPgo.

I'm so thankful Nintendo is headed by smart thinkers and not money grabbers as a monthly fee would have alienated many people and caused the 3DS to suffer poor sales.

NapalmHornet

#64

NapalmHornet said:

I actually wouldn't mind paying every month for this if it wasn't too expensive and you could stop and start your subsciption quickly

Nintendo-is-my-love

#66

Nintendo-is-my-love said:

i think they should do wat there doing but also have the option to do the 3g not many people would do it but atleast everyone would be happy however i wouldnt pay. i think we should use our money for more games.

XSakiX

#67

XSakiX said:

I think i will wait until it goes really cheap :D
mabey in ummm 2020? o_0

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