Nintendo's first free-to-play game will be Steel Diver

World of Submarines.

Nintendo will dip its toe into the waters of free-to-play gaming for the first time with a fresh version of its submarine sim Steel Diver, a new report suggests.

It's unclear what platform the game will launch on, or whether it will be a remake of the existing, largely-ignored 3DS title.

"There is something we're doing with the Steel Diver idea that I think is going to open things up with that game... It's going to be very fun," Nintendo's top designer Shigeru Miyamoto hinted to IGN, in a just-published interview excerpt from E3.

"We're exploring from a perspective of where we can take that from a multiplayer standpoint - it's going to have this four-player battle mode that I think is going to be very interesting."

Nintendo has been hinting at entering the free-to-play market since the beginning of the year. Company president Satoru Iwata said at the time that it wouldn't be used for games with an already-existing fanbase, such as Mario or Pokémon.

It's not hard to imagine an aquatic version of Wargaming's World of Tanks, with various upgrades paid for by microtransactions.

"It may have less to do with being a submarine commander than Trauma Center does with being a doctor, but it's a novel premise nonetheless," Eurogamer's Jeffrey Matulef wrote in our 6/10 Steel Diver review. "[Still,] it's hard to shake the feeling that it was rushed out of port, and its deliberate pace won't be for everyone."

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