Used Wii U consoles reportedly grant access to previously purchased games

Jan 4, 2013
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Well this is interesting: if, by chance, you manage to find a used Wii U, you might want to pick it up before someone else swoops in and buys it. In doing so, you could potentially net a few free games. Users over at NeoGAF are reporting that used Wii U consoles will grant access to the previous player's digitally purchased games, despite the fact that the hard drive was cleared before purchase.

Why is this happening? Because digital Wii U downloads are tied to the user's Nintendo Network ID, which can only be associated with one Wii U console. Clearing the hard drive and deleting the accounts apparently doesn't do anything in this instance since the Nintendo Network ID will remain associated with the console, so even users who create a new account will be able to access the downloads of the previous owner. As Eurogamer points out, the only way to transfer a Nintendo Network ID between Wii Us is to send the console to Nintendo of America, which is something we're sure a lot of Wii U owners aren't willing to do right before they sell their console.

So, if you pick up a used Wii U, be sure to check the online store to see if you have any free games waiting. If this is a fixable issue, expect Nintendo to hop on it quickly, because we can't imagine the company likes the fact that used Wii U purchasers are potentially getting a number of games at no cost. We have to be honest and say this doesn't make much sense, but at the same time, Nintendo is still relatively new to the online space, so the fact that its weird online system is coming back to bite it isn't all that shocking.

We'll just have to wait and see what Nintendo says about the issue. More importantly, we'll be waiting to see what it does, because this problem may not be easy to quash. Be sure to check out our story timeline below for more on the Wii U!


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