We know now that for the first time in Nintendo history their E3 press conference featured 3rd party publishing heavyweights announcing software support for the new Wii U, and this was all part of the push toward much harder core offerings for the new console.
In addition to hard core titles, Nintendo intends to also fully step up its game as far as its online offerings. Nintendo says that with the launch of the Wii U the company plans to offer an enhanced online service that will offer online friends tracking, friends lists, achievements, achievement tracking, and perhaps the most interesting offering is online match scheduling via the Wii U touch screen controller.
Nintendo claims that once released, the Wii U will offer an online experience that rivals what is currently being offered by Xbox Live and PSN. Of course, Nintendo was quiet about whether there is or might be a cost associated with their online service offerings. Sources tell us that as of right now the online service offerings are still evolving, and until they have a much better picture of the situation it is unknown if they will be charging for access to at least some of the features. We do suspect, however, that it is likely that Nintendo will charge for access to some of the online service offerings at some point.