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Rumor: Pre-owned Wii U consoles retain previous owner’s game downloads

Purchasing a used Wii U may come with an added bonus for now..

It looks like Nintendo has left a glaring oversight in the rush to get the Wii U out before the holidays. The problem is one that wouldn’t surface until pre-owned Wii U consoles make their way into consumers hands and sitting at the near two-month mark, it’s about that time. According to a thread on NeoGAF, user DSN2K was able to re-download previous titles purchased by the previous owner of the console he purchased, despite the Wii U having been wiped clean.

When visiting the Wii U eShop, DSN2K confirms that games that were purchased by the previous owner do not have a price. Instead, they’re marked with a “redownload” button which means he was able to claim Trine 2 and Nano Assault for free, since those titles were previously downloaded on the console by the first owner. This is an interesting misstep for Nintendo as it implies that the company was not expecting used re-sales so quickly and this begs the question as to whether the original purchaser of these games still has access to them.

[via NeoGAF]

Around the web
  • http://profile.yahoo.com/V6HJD4JXXAYGGNOCI4OVBVLFDQ DenverP

    “This is an interesting misstep for Nintendo as it implies that the company was not expecting used re-sales”

    We’re seriously to think Nintendo wouldn’t, in their wildest imagination, think someone would sell their Wii U? Gimmee a break.

  • drew42o

    THIS ISN’T NEWS, it is common sense. Why wouldn’t you be able to re-download games from a Wii U that were already purchased.. You can do the same thing with Wii.. And it is obvious that the original seller does NOT have access to these games any longer, unless of course he were to repurchase his Wii U back.. 

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      Considering both Sony and Microsoft use account-based systems for their INTERNET ENABLED consoles, you’d think Nintendo would eventually do the same. You can’t even compare the Wii to the Wii U in this sense because the Wii U actually has an account creation system that’s intended to interact with the world at large, meaning games could be tied to an account instead of an arbitrary friend number generated by the console, a la the Wii.

      • Anthony K Aurelia

        Actually, Microsoft licenses the downloads to the console AND the Gamertag…you can transfer your download licenses to a different XBOX 360 once a year. This is so other users on the system have access to the DL content without the other person being signed in. I don’t know about Sony…only have the Wii, XBOX 360 and WiiU.

    • Kuzon

      Are we, Nintendo fans visiting this news site, gonna be so bend on loving Nintendo to not see obvious flaws and issues with their new systems?

      This is an issue, whether or not you think it is. The accounts should be the ones dealing with game downloads and purchases, not a game console serial code internally.

      You also shouldn’t be getting other people’s game purchases from buying a pre-owned system. What about if that person wants to buy a Wii U in the future? Their digital game library is, apparently, not attached to their account and or someone else is using their purchases now.

      • ConCity Soldier

        Nintendo definitely needs to fix this issue.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/5GKA37JSOGUWMN3NEK4YWH23LY yahoo-5GKA37JSOGUWMN3NEK4YWH23LY

         If you’re going to be selling your Wii U, then you might as well sell your downloaded games with it.

        • Lasse Stefans

          But when you sell your console, you’ll only get the money the console it is worht. You mean we should price all the Wii U’s different because of an obvious bug?

        • MichelChartrand

          This bug doesn’t only affect private sale, it also affects broken or lost/stolen consoles.  You shouldn’t lose all of your game licenses because someone decided to drop the console or stick a sandwich inside the slots, or whatever else people can do to destroy a console.

          Digital downloads should not be tied directly to the hardware, this is one reason why I choose to avoid digital downloads when possible.  The other reason of course is the fact there doesn’t appear to be any price difference, why pay $39.99 for NSMB2 on 3DS eShop when $39.99 gets me the cartridge?

    • mralloverit

      I can tell you from my own experience, that your information on the Wii is incorrect. If reset properly, the Wii will not have access to previously downloaded games. Meaning whoever buys the console you sell, can’t get the games you bought without paying.

    • Sidney Majurie

       I did that on the used 3DS I bought as well. I was able to get ambassador awards(20 free games etc) for my 3DS as well because the owner bought the original $250 model. Nintendo’s mistep is our gain so ssssshhhhhhh Wii U Daily :D

    • RoadyMike

      So the guy who sold his Wii U realized selling it was a stupid idea and buys another Wii U shortly after.His NN account(I’m not sure about this one yet),Mii’s,game downloads etc are all on the system he sold.Now he has to  set the settings,create another account,redownload etc everything
      The one who bought the used Wii U has the NN accounts(again,not sure)and free titles.Pretty sweet for the buyer,but bad for Nintendo;for every title he gets for free means a loss for Nintendo and the developers of those games
      This is,indeed,an issue for both the guy who sold his Wii U(which is still a stupid idea IMO) and Nintendo and HAS to get fixed as soon as possible

  • Ultranist

    DRM on hardware level :S

  • Mickey Mouse

    No doubt this’ll get a fix in the very next system update. It’s too big an oversight to not rectify, what with all the lost digital sales from the new owner not having to purchase games that the previous system owner had to buy themselves.

  • DemonRoach

    Can you imagine Wii U resale values in the future? Lol.  

  • Sdudyoy

    I don’t think Nintendo can ignore this for long, especially if this becomes big news, too many people would start buying used wii u’s and Nintendo would loose to many sales.

  • Kirbyomega

    My preowned wii came with Super Mario Bros 3. I didn’t even have to download it, when I turned it on for the first time, it was on the main screen.

  • TheLast

    Shouldn’t be sending back your Wii U a month and a half after launch. :p

  • http://www.mpt-online.eu/ Sylux

    This is definily a flaw, Nintendo, we love you but this is unacceptable, who knows new owners might even be able to backtrack more then just games from the previous owner…, if they can re-download games for free it’s probably possible to track back more, in the worst case scenario someones credit card, or am I doom-thinking to much now?

  • http://www.facebook.com/AdamRaue Adam Fox

    First thing that came to my mind was “pre-owned WIi U already!?”….but besides that…yes, it is a flaw with Nintendo hardware…but at the same time, its a flow of “Digital content”….when you sell/trade in a system to stores like ShameStop…*cough Gamestop cough*…you don’t get compensation for digital downloads….so if you trade in a Vita with 15 downloaded games, you get the value of the system….if you trade in a Vita with 15 game cards, you get the value of the system plus 15 game cards……you are not saving money with digital downloads with the exception of gas money…unless you order off Amazon or get a place with free shipping, then you are only saving time….Do yourself a favor…..ALWAYS BUY PHYSICAL COPIES OF GAMES!!

    • mralloverit

      “Always buy physical copies of games!!” …at least until physical copies no longer exist. You do realize, it’s only a matter of time before everything from movies to music and video games, moves to strictly digital and all production of physical media will cease. It will happen and I, for one, will welcome it. Just as well, I think they would need to create a market for selling back purchased content. Not an easy thing, mind you, but it’s possible.

  • TaintedXGamer

    I may have to get a preowned one, I got my wii like that and i found hilarious pics on it that the old owner left on my wii. he only had the wii for 3 months and all i found was Redsteel mario kart wii and secret rings lol

  • LunarNinja

    Nintendo is going to FLY over to make a new patch for that one guy….

    play it as you can bro, play it as you can…

  • Troy Barnett

    For gamers this is good news. Free games on a used console. And for those worried about the publishers how is this so much different from what Gamestop has beeeeen doing except its with physical copies of games? The publisher doesn’t get the profit of those sales either .This is the exact opposite of the rumor about Sony’s anti used game efforts. Also it is unlikely that a person that just sold their console is gonna turn around and buy a different one that’s just stupid.

    • MichelChartrand

      It depends on whether the original user will still be able to download the game on a new console or not.  If they are able to, then that means 2 copies are able to float around, whereas Gamestop buys/sells physical copies, so only one can exchange hands, rather than duplicating.

      The bigger issue is that it can blow up in the media that this bug exists, and it can affect shareholder confidence in Nintendo, and if their stock keeps taking a dive, the future may not be awesome.

      Though I do agree it’s unlikely that a person who just sold is going to buy another, so it’s mainly an image thing, blown out of proportion by the media that can affect share price and reputation.  But it does happen that people upgrade.  When the Xbox360S was released, many people upgraded, and when the Star Wars version came out, I’m sure many people traded in.  Lots of special edition consoles get released causing some people to trade in or upgrade.

  • fireheartis1

    Only an idiot would sell their Wii U before they know what they system is capiable of.  That’s just stupid and what if all the best games end up on the Wii U and they want it again.  The person who sold it back must be really really dumb or something.  Wii U’s graphics capiablities haven’t even been tapped yet.  Once developers figure out how to use the system the graphics will rock.  This person is going to find this out and if they want another Wii U will have to pay out another 350.00.  What a freaking moron.

  • NintendoNoob

    Looks like I’m buying me some Wii U’s tomorrow. Lawl JK

  • Dariuvahush

    Why is everyone condidering this to be a bug?
    It’s just common sense. The digital downloads where paid, so why should they just be deleted?
    If you sell your console, you’re not going to burn your game discs but sell them, so why shouldn’t you be able to sell your digital games as well?

    So bind the software to either the hardware or an account, if you bind them to an account, you have the easy possiblity to access your software on a new console if you sold your old one.
    But seriously that’s the less probable case than wanting to sell your games as well.

    The only advantage imho from account-bound software would be that if your console broke for whatever reason, you would just need to log into your new console with username / pw and redownload everything, while in this case you would have to send your broken console to nintendo and they will do the transfer for you.

  • http://painitegames.com/ Hybrilynx

    i always thought it only worked that way if you had a club nintendo account.

  • LonDonE247

    kind of pointless when you factor in the storage on wii u is pathetic,i love my wii u, but nintendo has made some silly decisions as of late