Of course it's fair. This isn't a game of cards, this is capitalism.
It's fair for them to charge $200 if they wanted. It's their product, they have that right. No one is entitled to "free online" or any other feature.
At the same time, of course, consumers have the right to not buy that product.
Many felt that they had no other option, than to suck it up and pay. Were are not entitled to anything. Microsoft first tested the waters and gamers gobbled it up, then Sony followed and everyone was fine with it and now Nintendo is about to do it, because why not? We gamers made it easy for them.