We asked a few gamers around the office the very same question and the answer was predominately "no." That aside, it sounds like Nintendo is considering a similar online gaming business model like the one that has worked so well for Microsoft's Xbox Live.
Of course that gut-reaction "no" is probably because preexisting pay services like Xbox Live provide a far more superior experience than what Nintendo currently offers. To even be taken seriously, Nintendo would have to redesign its entire online infrastructure.
According to Edge, the company's head of Entertainment Analysis and Development Shigeru Miyamoto raised the following in regards to the current Nintendo online presence: "Do we need to demand customers pay monthly fees to enjoy online activities? Or give an online subscription that is free of charge, but then offer something extra for people that pay, so that they get some extra value? With these core business strategies I think we are less active than we should be."
It's no secret that the online experience on the Nintendo Wii and DS is lacking. Though most games don't even support any kind of online element, those that do occasionally suffer from buggy performance or are crippled by the current friend code matchmaking system.
We think a change is long overdue regardless; but charging for it right out of the gate is probably not the safest approach. If Nintendo is desperate for online revenue, why not start by offering a handheld version of the Virtual Console and unlock the sacred Game Boy vault? To us it seems like a no-brainer.
If Nintendo was able to completely revamp the entire online experience for the Wii and DS, encourage developers to support multiplayer, offer early game demos, fix matchmaking, and support a more practical screen name system, would you pay a monthly fee for it?
(Sources: Edge Online via MTV Multiplayer)