Nintendo cannot rule out the possibility it will charge for "deep" online services on Wii U at some point.
"Ordinary" online services will remain free, though, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has stated.
"We cannot promise that Nintendo will always provide you with online services free of charge no matter how deep the experiences are that it may provide," Iwata said in a meeting with company shareholders.
"But at least we are not thinking of asking our consumers to pay money to just casually get access to our ordinary online services."
Iwata explained that paying for such services via a subscription, such as Xbox Live, did not suit more casual gamers.
"We have a wide variety of consumers, from the ones who enthusiastically play video games to those playing more casually, who are not always interested in them but try to play a game only when it has become a public topic or play it just during certain periods, like a year-end season and summer vacation.
"We cannot promise that Nintendo will always provide you with online services free of charge no matter how deep the experiences are that it may provide."
Satoru Iwata, president, Nintendo
"We therefore believe that services which ask our consumers to obtain paid memberships are not always the best."
Wii U will utilise the Nintendo Network online service, already in use with 3DS games such as Mario Kart 7. It's bolstered by Miiverse, the company's social-interaction software present on the Wii U dashboard.