Nintendo: 3G fees will hold NGP back

Will "decrease the customer base".

For Sony, the Next Generation Portable's 3G functionality is one of its killer features, but for 3DS maker Nintendo, it expects having to pay for the service will put people off from buying it.

As revealed by Eurogamer in January, Sony will launch 3G and non-3G versions of its PlayStation Portable successor.

Sony is currently "working hard" on 3G partnerships, and has confirmed there will be some cost to the user for 3G services.

But in an interview with the Asahi Shimbun newspaper (translated by Andriasang), Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata said the need to pay monthly monthly 3G usage fees would alone decrease the customer base.

And what of the threat of Apple's iOS mobile devices? "We're at a period where it will be difficult to keep the value of our content if we are unable to offer experiences that can't be had on Smartphones," Iwata said.

The Nintendo 3DS went on sale in Japan over the weekend and has sold nearly 400,000 units already.

It goes on sale in Europe on 25th March, and long queues and sold out signs are expected.

Nintendo has high hopes for the device. The DS handheld is the best-selling console of all time, shifting an eye-watering 140 million units worldwide but Nintendo wants the 3DS to beat it.

The DS has been used by over 300 million people, said Iwata. "We'd like to increase this even further with the 3DS."

Meanwhile, Iwata gave the strongest hint yet that a 3DS Mario game is in the works.

Nintendo is experimenting with gameplay where Mario will run into the screen and strike blocks that are floating in the air. "We're making software that is packed with the kinds of surprises and enjoyment that the 3DS can deliver," Iwata offered.

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