Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has confirmed via a Q&A session on Nintendo’s website that the Wii U will support free-to-play titles, should developers choose to bring them to the new console.
“What I am trying to say is that we are not considering introducing a free-to-play game if the game itself is not suitable in that fashion. I have no intention to deny every possibility of free-to-play.”
Additionally, when asked about the processing and graphical power of the Wii U, in comparison to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Iwata explained the trade-off between pricing and very advanced technology.
“Of course, because we have designed a new hardware system, we are using new technology and we are using new GPUs. But as we have to devote significant costs to the Wii U GamePad, if we were to apply the same level of enhancement that other console manufacturers shoot for to the processing power component, the Wii U would become extremely high in price, and it would not be affordable. In other words, we think that the way that the various console manufacturers are allocating their budgets to the hardware is different from the way that we allocate our budget to the hardware. Ultimately, we’re looking to maintain a price point for the Wii U that is reasonable in comparison to the value to be offered.
There is also another differentiation point here. While existing platforms have engines that development teams have tuned and optimized for six to seven years after their respective launches, the Wii U is a new platform that has slightly different architecture and, since development teams have only just begun development on software for it, they are only at the halfway point to utilizing its full potential. Despite this fact, however, if you look at the game “Assassin’s Creed III,” which was recently announced or shown, you can’t see much difference when you compare it with games for other companies’ systems. I hope that helps you to understand a little bit better.”