Nintendo Co. this week told investors that basic online services for the Wii U hardware will be available at no cost.

Company president Satoru Iwata said this month is not thinking of asking consumers to pay for ordinary online services.

Basic online services for Wii U may include the new Miiverse social component and standard peer-to-peer online gaming.

Miiverse is a new social component in the Wii U UI that allows users to keep track and chat with their Mii friends. Text-chat is enabled via an on-screen keyboard from the Wii U GamePad, or users can video chat or draw from the GamePad to communicate.

Future plans include Miiverse social functionality from the Nintendo 3DS, PC, and any mobile web browser.

Nintendo currently offers online play at no charge for Wii and Nintendo 3DS users. It sells premium content and full games through the Nintendo e-Shop, which will be available for Wii U at launch.

The Wii U is scheduled to be released in 2012.


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