More on the Revolution's downloading feature, this time from George Harrison, NOA VP:
GS: Now, what exactly is so revolutionary about the Revolution? Is this still kind of a state secret at Nintendo?
GH: That will be a number of things. I mean, certainly the virtual console concept we describe with the ability to download the past Nintendo games is going to make it very unique. Not that someone else couldn't add that function, but they certainly can't add that kind of library and that kind of archive.
GS: Do you plan on having like a per-download pricing model along the lines of the microtransactions that will be used in the next-gen Xbox marketplace?
GH: Well, we can use it in a variety of ways. We've used some of the older games already as little bonuses, either as bonus gifts or hidden in levels of games. Certainly for the first-party titles we'll be making some of those available. We haven't really talked about whether we would sell them. The third parties can make their own decision whether they want to sell them, or maybe they will add it on as sort of a free benefit when you buy a current version of the game.
GS: To continue with what's so revolutionary about the Revolution...
GH: Well, I think certainly being wireless out of the box is revolutionary. People sort of picked on us for not jumping in prematurely into online or Internet gaming, but we just looked at it, the way it was evolving, and just felt that it was not time to jump in. But certainly with the next console it would be, with a couple of important changes like eliminating the access fee so there's not really a monthly subscription, and making use of first-party games, downloadable for free. That to us will be really revolutionary. Right now the estimates are anywhere between six and maybe 10 or 12 percent of console owners are playing online. You know, if you really have people embrace it and enjoy it, we think that should be well over 50 percent. I think I heard Nintendo president Mr. Satoru Iwata, and Nintendo vice president of sales and marketing, Reggie Fils-Aime, say this morning as much as 90 percent is the goal for DS online, which is a great goal, rather than keeping it a niche aspect of gaming, to make it a broad-based application.
GS: So do you have any plans on maybe making just one standard for an online service or is it going to be two-tiered like they're doing with Xbox Live?
GH: Right now we're not looking to have a two-tiered service. So for first-party games it would be free, and for third party, I think they just have to determine it for their own game. Not any kind of general access fee again, but for their own game, it's fine if they want to charge them that kind of a price for that.
Heh... Nintendo's marketing types are all sweating that they still have to hide what is so revolutionary about the Revolution, well aware that staying silent may hurt the company's image prematurely.
It's a tricky situation for them.
But what we know so far is good... and even better is that this isn't what makes the system revolutionary at all! This is the stuff they weren't afraid would be stolen. The good stuff is said to be coming before the year's end.