Nintendo has published an analyst Q&A in which Satoru Iwata said it was possible for Wii U to allow free-to-play titles.
“With respect to the Wii U system, when we began working on it, one of our goals was to have a variety of purchase options and additional e-commerce options available at its launch,” he said. “Because of that, we have prepared a Digital Rights Management system. We have designed the system from a technical standpoint to allow developers to freely take advantage of things like free-to-play and micro transactions.
“We’ve planned to make it possible for people to release their games as either an optical disc or as digital content. So publishers would be able to choose from both of those options.”
Iwata said the the firm is currently in discussions with the publishers on this area, and should third-parties find it “reasonable,” games in the digital format will be available on Wii U at launch as the console lacks “technical restrictions.”
“I do think that we can improve profitability because with digital goods you avoid things like the cost of goods for media,” said Iwata. “You do not have the cost of shipping physical goods and you also can hold down inventory risks.”
However, Iwata said Nintendo is not considering developing a first-party a free-to-play game “if the game itself is not suitable in that fashion,” such as the firm’s Mario offerings.
“I have no intention to deny every possibility of free-to-play,” he said.