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Nintendo Wi-Fi ConnectionQuick, look up!  See that large boot-like object on its way down?  That would be the other shoe dropping.  Word comes from the Game Developers Conference that Nintendo is about to put up the pay walls on some of the Wii's online multiplayer offerings.

"Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Pay And Play" will let users subscribe on a game-by-game basis to certain titles. Nintendo project leader Takashi Aoyama announced the service at GDC, but did not say what upcoming games would require payment for the service, or how much they would cost.

To avoid customer confusion, Pay-And-Play games will have a red icon on the game's box that reads Pay And Play, in place of the traditional blue Wi-Fi Connection icon, which will only be used for games that are free to play.

So much for all that cheery talk about online play needing to be free for the good of the world and stuff.  I can't say I'm happy about this announcement.  Nintendo's online gaming offerings have been mildly decent, but I cannot see paying money for the level of service I get from, say, Nitrobike.  Half-assed online play is only satisfactory when it's free.  I'm not going to pay a monthly fee for the privilege of being frustrated by snakers and disconnectors.