But Not For Existing Franchises
Nintendo appears to want a piece of the increasingly lucrative F2P market, so long as current franchises aren't compromised.
Speaking to Japanese newspaper Nikkei [translation courtesy of NeoGAF], Ninty president Satoru Iwata suggested that new franchises might adopt the freemium pricing model, in order to adapt to new opportunities.
"We [as an industry] can now do distribution by digital means as well as micro-transactions, and the ways to obtain money through supporting entertainment have increased. I have no intention of denying charged games or the free-to-play model. If we were to talk about if Nintendo were to do that, however, I do not [have] much inclination to do that with Nintendo's established well-known products, where people trust their interesting-ness."
"For new titles with no established base, if, in the process of development, we found it to suit the free-to-play model, we might follow that route, or we might do something like 'cheap-to-play.' Our sales methods have been freed up and I have no desire to extinguish that freedom. If we were to release something like that, it is not a betrayal but the birth of an interesting idea through our new found freedom, that's all. I am not talking about changing how we sell Mario or Pokémon."
"We will not have a proverbial door to full enjoyment that can only be unlocked via payment."
It's clear that console manufacturers will have to keep abreast of new pricing models to compete in an increasingly ruthless market. What this means for Nintendo, however, remains to be seen (please don't make us pay for premium Pokemon...).