Nintendo to charge for online Wii services

Posted by Mark Raby

Redmond (WA) - Nintendo has confirmed that it will offer "Wi-Fi Connection Pay & Play" on the Wii, a feature that will have additional online functionality but at an added price.

While some online-enabled Wii games will still allow Wi-Fi play for free, others will require a fee.  These games will have more advanced features and will be designated as such on the box.

At last week's Game Developers Conference, Nintendo's head of its network administration group Takashi Aoyama said that the "Pay & Play" services would be paid for with Wii Points.  That's what Wii owners use right now to purchase vintage console games on the system's Virtual Console platform.

The few Wii games that currently offer online play for free will not be affected.  Users will also not have to worry about paying for all the Wi-Fi services that will be offered in the upcoming game Super Smash Bros Brawl.  Brawl is coming out in the US on March 9 and is the most awaited online Wii game to date.

It is speculated that the Pay & Play service will launch alongisde another anticipated online title, Mario Kart Wii.  No further details about the new platform have been confirmed.