Used games on the Wii U will be allowed, according to Nintendo. There has been much debate over whether next generation consoles will ban used games from being played, as publishers have complained for a while that used game sales hurt their bottom line. Nintendo of America executive Scott Moffitt says that used games are “a reality in the marketplace”, and that Nintendo hasn’t implemented any features into the Wii U that would block used games from being played. In an interview, Moffitt says that while the company has no formal position on used games, he stressed that used games won’t be banned on the Wii U.
These rumors were originally sparked by the PlayStation 4 “leak” that suggested that Sony would block used games on the console. While there’s no doubt that used games hurt publishers, as they don’t receive a penny from used game sales, it’s hard to argue that it’s bad for the industry. Most gamers who trade in their old games usually use the money or store credit to purchase new games. Publishers have tried other measures to counter this, including blocking online multiplayer for used games. Players are expected to purchase an “online pass” from the publisher in order to play the game online. This was the case with Battlefield 3 on consoles, and it’s likely that something similar will happen with online multiplayer Wii U games.