During an E3 Q&A session, president Satoru Iwata told an audience of analysts that the Wii U's online structure will support a variety of payment models at launch.
"With respect to the Wii U system, when we began working on it, one of our goals was to have a variety of purchase options and additional e-commerce options available at its launch," Iwata said.
"And because of that, we have prepared a Digital Rights Management system. We have designed the system from a technical standpoint to allow developers to freely take advantage of things like free to play and micro transactions."
Adoption of the free-to-play model has grown in video games in recent years, especially among PC games.
Fewer free-to-play games have been released on home consoles because not all systems support the model in their online infrastructure. Currently, only the PlayStation 3 has released and maintains free-to-play titles, such as Free Realms and DC Universe Online.
Wii U support was first suspected when PC free-to-play game Ghost Recon Online was announced for the new system at E3 2011. However, Nintendo had previously refused to talk about the Wii U's online features, so it was unclear whether the title would follow the same structure as its PC version.
Nintendo UK managing director David Yarnton recently told Digital Spy that further features will be announced for the Wii U, and that it has learned lessons from the 3DS launch.
The Wii U received a full specs and launch game list at E3 2012, and showed off a revamped Gamepad with analogue sticks and near-field technology.
> Digital Spy goes hands-on with Nintendo's Wii U launch lineup
> Read our full Wii U interview with Nintendo UK
Watch a video of the Wii U Gamepad at E3 below: