Should Nintendo online be free? This is a topic I see often and the majority of people who post and reply in these topics don't really know what it is they are paying for. I'm going to shed some light on the benefits and drawbacks of why you pay a subscription.
First let's talk about what people perceive as negative for paid subscription. The big negative to a paid subscription is no one wants to pay a monthly fee on top of a on top of another fee, you pay for internet already why do you have to pay to play too? The second negative is whether or not you feel what your paying for is worth it, if it's not, you just put your money at risk and no one likes paying for something they don't like. Often people say I don't pay to play on PC so why would I on console? The truth is you do, or more accurately, many of you do. The truth is to play things online requires a server and that server costs money to up keep and run, so if it's free to users that means it falls on the owner to pay. To offset this owners will either have a bunch of ads, ask for donations, or run some sort of cash shop, omg a cash shop? Those things you buy whether they are physical or digital merchandise help pay for the owner to run the server most people are playing free on. That's why nearly every free online game or buy to play online game has some sort of shop.
Phew… Now I know some of your are reading this like, "Amen! DaReapa I don't want to pay for crap I already bought", let me tell you I agree it sucks and for all we know we are being overcharged for it. The truth is paying a subscriptions gives a number of things. For one it helps provide large library of Demo's, Games, DLC, and Add Ons that generally lasts the life cycle of the console and download quite fast only limited by your paid internet subscription. Secondly it helps provide online services for socializing, one reason why PSN and Xbox Live have servers for private party chat and Nintendo does not. Lastly, it helps pave the way for a smooth and great online multiplayer experience.
I know what your thinking, "Now hold on DaReapa, Microsoft and Sony just wants our money we don't need to pay, we have Peer to Peer", yor are absolutely right! But… Peer to Peer has come a long way in online multiplayer gaming. Peer to Peer in the past meant you were honestly directly connected to a friend or an opponent meaning if they disconnected the whole game was lost. Now a days you are actually connected to a peer through Sony or Microsoft's servers, why do you think when you play Call of Duty online on Playstation you can't play or compete with friends on Xbox? That's because the developer can't just flip the switch they have to get Sony and Microsoft to work together to bridge the gap between their servers. When you play Peer to Peer some of that information is being shared on a server so if the Host gets disconnected the game can transfer to another person seamlessly. Anyone long time Playstation owner can attest to the old days of PS2 and early PS3 online gaming, it was atrocious and even though I don't like Microsoft's gaming services I have to admit Xbox Live was a far superior service back in the day.
In closing there are actually several games that don't require PSN access if the servers are hosted by another company (Not sure if its the same for Xbox). Any game that requires a Peer to Peer connection through Sony and Microsoft's servers will require a subscription. I'm not saying I want another big yearly subscription, but I would be willing to pay a small yearly fee if it meant better services from Nintendo.
TLDR: It sucks to pay a fee on top of buying a game and paying for internet but it benefits everything you do online from downloads to multiplayer by helping your chosen console develpor improve and upkeep their servers. I would pay a small yearly subscription if it meant better online Nintendo services that matches or comes close to it's competitors.