Wii Sports Club Iwata

Yesterday we brought you some information from the latest Iwata Asks, in which it was explained that Namco Bandai had stepped in to take on development duties. Naturally those in attendance spoke about a variety of topics, another of which is the fact that — if you have 1.3GB of available space (on the system or a connected hard drive) — the game will automatically download on your Wii U when it's released on 7th November.

Satoru Iwata and Takayuki Shimamura (the latter works in Nintendo's Software & Planning Department) discussed how the pricing structure was decided upon, and how the phased release of titles brought the concepts of free 24-hour trials and automated downloads to the fore.

Iwata: Instead of being a regular packaged game, Wii Sports Club will be available as download software either via a Day Pass ($1.99) which allows you to play all the available sports as much as you want for 24 hours, or a Club Pass ($9.99), which you have the option to be able to play a particular sport as long as you want. Why is that?

Shimamura: To be honest, it started from the point when we thought that since it will take some time to make all five sports and release them at once, what if we were to release them in the order they're ready. If we were to release them in a package, it would be quite some way down the road before all of them were ready.

Iwata: And besides, your president wanted to play as soon as possible. (laughs)

Shimamura Yeah! (laughs) I do think, however, that there are a lot of benefits to this approach. And this is an online game. If we were to release all five games at once, the customers would divide up into the different games. But if we put them out like an irregular periodical, people can thoroughly enjoy each individual sport.

Iwata: So first you prepared Tennis and Bowling for people play and enjoy.

Shimamura: Yes. Usually when you download software, you go to the Nintendo eShop, pay, and then download.

Iwata: Right.

Shimamura: That's incredibly easy, but there are a certain number of people who find that to be a pain. So this time, in order to reduce that hassle, if your Wii U is connected to the internet and you have at least 1.3 gigabytes of free space, Wii Sports Club comes in to your Wii U automatically through SpotPass.

Iwata: I believe those who updated their Wii U console the other day received a message upon opening their system again asking if they would like to automatically receive content via SpotPass. If you answered "OK" and have 1.3 gigabytes or more of free space, Wii Sports Club will be delivered automatically.

Shimamura: That's right. One day, you suddenly have the Wii Sports Club icon, but if you couldn't play right away without paying first, that would be a hassle too, so from the moment you start the game, you can play for the first 24 hours for free.

Iwata: First we'd like people to try it, and if there's a game they like, they can then purchase it with a Club Pass.

Shimamura: That's it.

Iwata: What is the point of the other pass, the Day Pass?

Shimamura: Suppose your grandfather is coming over to visit. This way, everyone can enjoy Bowling together for a day. The price is reasonable, so even when friends get together, I hope they will feel free to make use of it.

Iwata: So Wii Sports Club comes in automatically through SpotPass. And at first there are two sports. What about after that?

Shimamura: Even without you doing anything, one day Golf will suddenly be there.

Iwata: So the first 24 hours, you can play Tennis and Bowling for free, and later, even people who were playing other games will suddenly get Golf.

Shimamura: Right. We've decided to run a special campaign when Golf comes out. When a new sport comes in, you'll be able to play past games as well, as much as you want, for 24 hours.

Iwata: So every time there's a new release, there's a free 24 hour trial period. So you don't miss out if you start early. As a matter of fact, it's a better deal if you actually start sooner.

Shimamura: That's right.

Iwata: Including the first time, there will be at least four times that can happen. Put another way, you have four days where you get to play for free.

Shimamura: That's 96 hours! (laughs)

Makino: It would be a shame not to make use of them! (laughs)

Iwata: And if you like a specific sport, you can purchase it and play all you want.

Shimamura: Exactly.

Regular readers may also be aware that we sometimes like to highlight segments that show how light-hearted these interviews can be. Yet as well as (laughs) we now have (nodding in agreement), as Iwata-san advises us all to play safe.

Iwata: And lastly, I have a request to make of our readers. Please be sure to use the Wii Remote jacket and strap.

Everyone: (nodding in agreement)

Iwata: It's a great opportunity to have a lot of fun so I hope that everyone's experiences would stay on a positive note. But having said that, it does get exciting!

Shimamura: You were really getting into it earlier! (laughs)

Iwata: I know I don't have to swing with force, but when I get into it, I just do! (laughs) So fasten your strap, hold the Wii Remote Plus firmly, and be careful of your surroundings as you play. Thank you for today.

Everyone: Thank you!

So, are you pleased the game will be automatically downloaded to your system, assuming you've activated SpotPass? As always it's worth reading the full Iwata Asks, while the third section even includes footage of the Nintendo President in an intense tennis battle.

[source iwataasks.nintendo.com]