After resisting the practice for years and insisting that it would never offer a half-baked product that would then be filled in by later add-ons, Nintendo's Satoru Iwata announced today that it is venturing into the world of paid downloadable expansion content. The experiment begins with the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS in which players will be able to buy new levels for the Coin Rush mode. These levels will not be created until after the game ships and will be based on player comments and outreach. Moreover, Nintendo claims that these expansions will not be a part of the main campaign that have been carved out for later sale. No pricing or release dates have been announced (probably because Nintendo hasn't figured that part out yet when it comes to exact details). Coin Rush was announced back at E3, but if you need a refresher on what this asynchronous multiplayer mode is all about, check out this new trailer:
Considering that Coin Rush requires StreetPass to play and I never have the opportunity to StreetPass anyone outside of events like E3, I don't see myself paying for the extra levels. Nintendo has to start somewhere with paid DLC though, and this seems as good a way to begin as anything else. I trust Nintendo not to gouge us with its foray into DLC. I don't expect them to, say, add extra power-ups to the game after the fact and charge us $3 for a Hammer Bros. Suit expansion, nor do I believe that an add-on World 9 would cost us $5. Maybe I'm being naive considering that every other major publisher has succumbed to the greed this generation at one time or another, but Nintendo has always done things its own way and has resisted offering this kind of content long after the rest of the industry began to consider it as a requirement. Most importantly, Nintendo has never cheated me on DLC, so unless/until it does, I'll give the company the benefit of the doubt and assume that they won't screw us all over with outrageous paid expansions.