You are probably right, but still... You also don't let children play with your toys for free, only to charge them small sums of money if they want to keep playing, right? With DeNa at the helm this is what we'll see as well.
What I would think is interesting myself is the rewards system you are talking about, but maybe even take it a step further. When you play (and pay) enough of their ftp titles on the app you get a virtual console game on any system for free (selected by the big N of course). Like this you would be able to build up a catalog of games you can play on a system you might not have yet, which could entice you to buy that system.
Now if this is one part of the program, meant for the casuals, Nintendo might as well make a program for their core audience which isnt interested in mobile. These people could pay a subscription price to get the same rewards as people who play a lot of mobile games withouth having to play the mobile games they so loath. They could get the same virtual console games this way.
Both types of accounts give you discounts on the eshop, but payed subscribers get a slightly bigger discount.
This is what I mean by that both can work next to each other.
But you are right that it might not be something they'd go for because of the image they want to uphold
No, like the program would be sweeping lol. It's available to everyone who owns a NNID, especially for console/handheld gamers. You'll be getting the same, and in many cases more, discounts through your dedicated gaming systems. I was just using the post to specify how the program could specifically be used to bring people from mobile or QOL to Nintendo hardware, but I'm sure that the primery focus of the rewards aspect of this program it to get players to play individual games more, and play more of them.
That's why it doesn't make sense to make a separate "core" rewards program. The entire point is to have one, uniform way to reward all Nintendo consumers across the board. Having two conflicting ways to do that with two inherently different goals is, well, conflicting. It doesn't make sense. The free-Steam like program works, in many ways, more for gamers than it does for anyone else. Nintendo doesn't need to force gamers to pay a subscription fee to gain access to a few NES games. You own 3 Mario games? Here's Mario 1, 2, and 3 for $1 each. Recommended Super Metroid to a friend? Now you can get the Metroid Prime Trilogy for 50% off.
It rewards players for actions that make Nintendo money by giving them ways to make Nintendo more money. A subscription model goes against that. It's likely why you'll likely never see Valve charging for Steam. Why would they need to? Valve makes tons of money from charging nothing for it, and Steam users will never shut up about all the deals they get from it. Far moreso than Plus or Gold.
Well, this is new.