Potential Free Game Downloads on Used Wii U Consoles

By Jorge Ba-oh 04.01.2013 14

Potential Free Game Downloads on Used Wii U Consoles on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

Buyers who have purchased a used Wii U may be able to re-download previously purchased Nintendo eShop titles.

As reported on NeoGAF today, an existing Wii U system that's been formatted/sold as refurbished can still access games that were downloaded on the system by the previous owner.

The main reason appears to be that because eShop games - including full retail releases/indie titles - are tied to the system, it gives the new owner full access to download these again for free. Other users have reported that the same approach applies on used Nintendo 3DS consoles with eShop titles also tied to each system.

Nintendo has yet to comment on the reports at time of writing.

What do you think of the used-games approach - should a refurbished/used Wii U console have access to the existing download games?

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This wouldn't be a problem if Nintendo allowed user accounts to be transferred to a new system and tied downloads to accounts instead of consoles.

Nintendo, your insistence on making users pay multiple times for the same content is screwing you over.

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 I don't really like it... if you've paid for something, why should other people get it for free? 
Or maybe I'm just being mean.

Currently waiting for:
Luigi's Mansion 2
Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire remakes

SuperLink said:
Nintendo, your insistence on making users pay multiple times for the same content is screwing you over.

How is Nintendo making users pay multiple times for the same content?

Sonic_13 said:
How is Nintendo making users pay multiple times for the same content?

For example if you get two WiiUs, you can't play your download games on each system like a disc, same with 3DS.

Nintendo is the only console developer with such a frustrating limitation, especially as a supposed "family" developer, do they not expect people to own multiple WiiUs or 3DS'? Of course they expect it, and of course they want us to give them money twice for eShop games and apps when one retail disc or cart works on everything.

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Sonic_13 said:
SuperLink said:
Nintendo, your insistence on making users pay multiple times for the same content is screwing you over.

How is Nintendo making users pay multiple times for the same content?

Games aren't tied to your account, so when it comes time to upgrade to a Wii U slim, prepare to say goodbye to your downloadable game collection and open your wallet to buy them again. Love that they charge more for a downloadable copy, when its basically a glorified rental.

Tying games to the hardware is certainly a major deterrent to trading them in for any reason, I wonder if that's Nintendo's line of thinking? Then again, more people would consider a secondhand purchase if there might be games tied to it which of course Nintendo wouldn't see any money from, so it goes both ways.

Wanted to upgrade to a 3DSXL and this is the only reason I didn't. Definitely an issue that needs sorted soon, and should be so much easier with the new IDs.

Barry Lewis [ nin10do :: General Writer :: Feature Writer :: Fountain of Industry Statistics ]
"We're mentalist psychic Scots, which means we can read your mind. If you're lying, your head explodes and we laugh."

3DS has a system transfer which transfers all of your purchases to the new system. I'd be surprised if Nintendo didn't eventually do the same for the Wii U.

No, it's not as convenient as an account system, but it's far better than the Wii and DS.

jres80 said:
3DS has a system transfer which transfers all of your purchases to the new system. I'd be surprised if Nintendo didn't eventually do the same for the Wii U.

No, it's not as convenient as an account system, but it's far better than the Wii and DS.

It needs to be account based, really. I did toy with the idea of trading in my 3DS and doing the transfer in the shop but couldn't quite bring myself to do it  Smilie

Barry Lewis [ nin10do :: General Writer :: Feature Writer :: Fountain of Industry Statistics ]
"We're mentalist psychic Scots, which means we can read your mind. If you're lying, your head explodes and we laugh."

I'm surprised it took people 2 months to try this and discover it works. I thought it was only natural. Didn't the Wii work the same way?

DL (guest) 05.01.2013#11

I don't see the big deal. If I download a title from the E-shop onto my hard drive and my hard drive breaks down, why shouldn't I be able to buy another hard drive and download the title again at no cost? Since games are console locked, you need to sell your Wii U and include the price of the purchased title. If it bothers people that much, go and buy the retail disk (where possible.)

Ridiculous! I just don't get why they don't link it to your account...however i have ALWAYS been against digital distribution and have always voiced that on this forum. I heavily reccomend not downloading games altogether, especially as the hard copy tends to be cheaper anyway and doesnt have any resale value...i just don't get why people download full fleged games for £40!

JayUK said:
Games aren't tied to your account, so when it comes time to upgrade to a Wii U slim, prepare to say goodbye to your downloadable game collection and open your wallet to buy them again. Love that they charge more for a downloadable copy, when its basically a glorified rental.

If Nintendo ever did release a Wii U slim (which is extremely unlikely) you would just be able to transfer your games just like you could for Wii to Wii U.

But more likely you'll just sign into your Nintendo Network ID on your console and redownload everything.

We already know (and have known for months) that Nintendo Network IDs are only tied to the system temporarily. Soon we'll be able to sign in on our 3DS's, iPhones/iPads, and Android devices.

Also, at least in the US, Nintendo does not charge more for downloads. Sure some retailers discount certain games (just as Nintendo has discounted certain games, but they are normal prices.

( Edited 06.01.2013 18:11 by Sonic_13 )

The thing with Digital is that it's supposed to give players an incentive to buy digitally, by being cheaper.


  • There are no distribution costs
  • No printing costs
  • All revenue from digital releases goes to the publisher(s)
  • It should be cheaper, in theory.
Physical copies are, understandably, sold at competitive prices (often lower than digital) because it's common sense, that's how the market works.

So while developers are charging full price for digital games and managing to get sales anyway, it's.. kind of a big rip-off. But hey digital publishers make money from it; doesn't mean I'm ok with such pricing.

( Edited 06.01.2013 21:22 by SuperLink )

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