Nintendo to Charge Online Subscription Fees?
Millions of users enjoy the multiplayer gaming and social networking offered by Xbox Live and PSN... but Nintendo's online services are mired firmly in the stone age. Restrictive friend codes and a decided lack of hardcore multiplayer titles have relegated the Wii's online multiplayer to a seldom-used novelty; in fact, even the Dreamcast offered better online gaming straight out of the box!
Shigeru Miamoto would be the first to admit that Nintendo needs to up its game, stating in a recent EDGE interview that the Wii is not "active" enough in online space. Unfortunately, he also dropped some worrying hints about the possibility of charging for premium multiplayer services.
“Do we need to demand customers pay monthly fees to enjoy online activities? Or give an online subscription that is free of charge, but then offer something extra for people that pay, so that they get some extra value? With these core business strategies I think we are less active than we should be.”
Oh dear. Sorry Shigs, but people are only going to pay for a service that offers something worthwhile. Scrap the friend code system maybe we'll think about it. [VG247]
Would you consider subscribing to a Nintendo premium online service? Or would you burst out laughing hard enough to cause yourself physical injury? Have your say in the comments!
LittleBigPlanet 2 Gameplay Details Emerge
Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet provided a freeform platforming experience that was limited only by our imagination (and the amount of time you were willing to spend designing levels and downloading poor Mario imitations). Game Informer magazine has the exclusive scoop on the upcoming sequel in their June edition, but the NEOGAF forums have already gotten hold of the juicy details. And as details go, these are very juicy indeed.
The first major change is that we'll no longer limited to platforming. The improved level editor will apparently allow us to emulate any genre: including shooters, racers, RPGs and even real time strategy! Vehicle creation has also been substantially beefed up, with the inclusion of Direct Control Seats that can be allocated an individual control scheme and handling parameters.
Tweakable "SackBots" with robust programmable AI and personalities will allow budding game designers to construct complex scenarios, and the addition of recordable sound effects and a cutscene editor round out an already comprehensive design suite that promises to rival professional game design software.
Basically, LBP2 may well be the last game you'll ever need. We'll be keeping a close eye on this one. [NEOGAF]
iPad Launches 28th May
Apple has set the UK iPad launch for the 28th of May. Expect the basic 16GB Wi-Fi model to set you back between £429-£599 depending on memory capacity, and the 3G Wi-Fi models will retail for between £529 for the 16GB version and and £699 for the 64GB beast. Preorders will taken from Monday, May 10 (next week).
We've recently reported that WoW may well be headed to the iPad, and it certainly has the potential to offer a unique gaming experience. That is, if developers can be bothered to develop quality titles rather than iPhone-style shovelware. Only time will tell, I suppose.
Want to know more? Why not check out Matt's first impressions of the iPad!