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Nintendo Network accounts currently tied to single Wii U

Nintendo Network accounts currently tied to single Wii U

Mon 19 Nov 2012 9:17am GMT / 4:17am EST / 1:17am PST

Situation could change, but losing console now means losing account

Nintendo Network accounts created on a Wii U are currently tied to that console irrevocably, meaning that if that console is lost or stolen, your account disappears with it, along with any stored information and purchases.

This also means that players can't sign into each others' Wii Us. Each console currently has a limit of 12 accounts which can be created on it and which will be tied to it permanently. Whilst that gives plenty of scope for creating accounts for all friends and family likely to use a single machine, it does mean that second-hand consoles will come with reduced capacity for more, potentially meaning that the limit of 12 has already been reached.

An explanation in the Wii U support literature gives some hope that it may be a situation which changes in the future, but offers no specifics.

Q: Can I Log Into My Nintendo Network Account on a Different Console?

Answer: No, you cannot. A Nintendo Network Account can only be used on the console where it was created. In the future, you will be able to use your Nintendo Network Account with future Nintendo consoles and other devices, such as PC's.
Currently, the Wii U supports up to 12 individual Nintendo Network ID's per console, which enables each member of the family to have his or her own unique identity on the system.

20 Comments

Sam Brown Programmer, Cool Games Ltd.

235 164 0.7
Yeeeahhh... I'm just going to wait for the first "My Wii U was replaced under guarantee and now none of my games work," lawsuit to be filed.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Jamie Read Junior 3D Artist, Neon Play Ltd

127 64 0.5
I have a huge soft spot for Nintendo, having played all their consoles since the NES as a kid. I really do wish they sort their online act out though, it's kind of embarrassing sometimes. Things like this and the storage problems for the update are slightly ludicrous. For once I'll be waiting a while before I get a Nintendo console.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
Yikes. This is like Phantasy Star Online being linked to ONE Dreamcast, meaning if your system died or became otherwise useless, you had to play from the beginning even if you have a VMU save file with a complete game on it.

Posted:A year ago

#3

John Bye Senior Game Designer, Future Games of London

481 451 0.9
Given Nintendo's focus on old-fashioned social gameplay (ie, people playing together in one physical location), it's surprising they haven't catered for situations like going round to a friend's house and logging in on their console to play a game you've bought digitally. Which is silly, because obviously you can play a physical disc on a friend's machine and even leave it with them to play, but if you (typically) pay more to download the same game from Nintendo's online store, put it on a memory stick and take it round to a friend's house, presumably you can't use it, because there's no way to even temporarily link your friend's machine to your account.

At least with PSN you can have two PS3s at a time linked to the same account (used to be five, which was ridiculously generous), so you can temporarily login on a friend's machine and use your digital games, then unlink it from your account again when you leave. In some games I think you can even have multiple players logged in at the same time so you all earn trophies and stuff as you play, although I think support for that is rare.

Also, the subheading "situation could change" is misleading. From Nintendo's FAQ that's quoted, it says that "in the future you will be able to use your Nintendo Network Account with future Nintendo consoles", not with more than one Wii U, which is what the subheading suggests. There's nothing here to say that you'll ever be able to transfer your account to another Wii U, let alone have two Wii Us at a time linked to the same account.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Bye on 19th November 2012 1:48pm

Posted:A year ago

#4

Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

449 423 0.9
Having a personal account tied to a single machine is so Windows98!

Posted:A year ago

#5

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,270 2,439 1.1
Dan, please contact Nintendo. I'm under the impression from them that if you have a console problem (stolen, bricked, whatever) that you can get everything back on a new console by contacting them.

They are simply saying that you can't just go log into your account from a different Wii U and expect all your stuff to be there.

I don't like the logic being used here to draw the conclusion.

Posted:A year ago

#6

Dan Pearson European Editor, GamesIndustry.biz

114 325 2.9
Nintendo were contacted for clarification on the issue before publication, Jim, as always, but they have yet to respond.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dan Pearson on 19th November 2012 3:21pm

Posted:A year ago

#7

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,270 2,439 1.1
I applaud the attempt made but why a conclusion then?

Why not wait for the reply?


When you go to register for an account, it asks if you already have one. Now why would it ask that if a system wasn't in place to overwrite old accounts or allow an account transfer?

Posted:A year ago

#8

John Bye Senior Game Designer, Future Games of London

481 451 0.9
Planning ahead for when you can create a Nintendo Network account on a 3DS and then use the same account on a Wii U?

EDIT - Although I'd be surprised if they haven't allowed for some kind of system for transferring accounts from faulty or broken consoles to replacement units.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Bye on 19th November 2012 4:27pm

Posted:A year ago

#9

Neil Millstone Director, White Bat Games

32 12 0.4
"Situation could change, but losing console now means losing account"

I don't know where you got this information from. If your Wii console was stolen or broken, Nintendo have a service where they would give you all your purchases back on a new console (I think you need to have your Wii's serial number). Unless you have information that they have changed their policy, why are you assuming they won't do the same with the Wii U? I'm pretty sure they will.

Posted:A year ago

#10
Hmmm. I remember hearing something about "accounts" and the NFC chip - I guess it never happened.

What does the 360 do? Can you go to a friends house, switch accounts, and then download various games linked to your account? How do they stop piracy?

I don't see why people are surprised though - its exactly like the Wii, DS & 3DS.

As for lost/broken consoles - its just like the migrate system. You send in the old console (& new one), and they migrate it for you. No different from before. But you can't select what to migrate - its all or nothing.

Posted:A year ago

#11

Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer

239 98 0.4
What the hell, so you can't even delete accounts? what morons have designed the Wii-OS? this is really ridiculous...

Posted:A year ago

#12

Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd

1,020 1,467 1.4
Nintendo has always offered to recover your games if your device was stolen, lost, or destroyed even before any sort of account existed. Why GI would assume this has changed for the Wii U is beyond me, but it's pretty shoddy journalism.

PS: This is actually still less restrictive than the Vita, which restricts you not only to one account but to one storage device (memory card) as well. Account security is only going to be more restrictive going forward.

Posted:A year ago

#13

Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent

280 810 2.9
@Jim

Come on mate. Be reasonable. I'm beginning to get the impression you'd still be defending Nintendo if it actually squatted down and shat in your cornflakes. Anyone can see how flawed this is. Do you not think this deserves just a teensy-weensy bit of criticism? Do you not think that's GI.biz's job?

@Nicholas

Neither of which points has anything to do with this story. Journalism is only as good as the care with which you choose to read it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dan Howdle on 20th November 2012 5:23am

Posted:A year ago

#14

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game

1,254 421 0.3
@Michael Shamgar "What does the 360 do? Can you go to a friends house, switch accounts, and then download various games linked to your account? How do they stop piracy?"

On Xbox 360, the content works on the original console any any profile, connected or disconnected to live, but if you use your profile on another Xbox, you can use your content, but only signed into the account that bought it and connected to Xbox live. You can transfer the licences to a new console, up to once a year I believe.

Posted:A year ago

#15

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,270 2,439 1.1
Dan, I don't mind criticism. I raise plenty myself. You don't see it here because comments are reactionary rather than the initiator.

My point with Dan Pearson was that the criticism would either be strengthened or this whole thing would become a non-issue depending on what Nintendo states. Simply jumping into criticism with limited information is the usually the forte of the fanboy, not the media. If Nintendo were to confirm you had no means to move an account, slam away. If Nintendo confirms a means does exist, you need to write a totally different story. If you write the criticism first and then it turns out you were wrong, egg meet face.

The fact that when you first register it asks if you already have an account kind suggests they may already have an account transition feature in place or in the works. If they didn't, why would it ask if you already have one?

Posted:A year ago

#16

Dan Pearson European Editor, GamesIndustry.biz

114 325 2.9
Jim, Nintendo still haven't answered, nor do I think that they are likely to. Sometimes you have to write with the facts on hand, invite corrections from those involved and publish those if they are forthcoming. For me the wording of the text here: " A Nintendo Network Account can only be used on the console where it was created," is pretty straightforward.

We always ask after the full facts before publishing anything, but we can't simply ignore an issue because we don't get an answer from a PR.

Posted:A year ago

#17

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,270 2,439 1.1
I understand if they take a long time to respond. But a day or 2 doesn't hurt as this isn't time sensitive information.

I'd also imagine the reps are pretty damn busy this week. I know it's taking much longer than usual to get answers from my own rep. Granted, I'm speaking with Golin Harris rather than Nintendo directly and they often tend to be just as much in the dark as consumers are.

All I'm saying is the reports came out that Monday and you ran the criticism that same day. So the time lag between reports and criticism was quite narrow. It simply gave the impression that little time was given for Nintendo to reply before making a conclusion.

If you don't mind though, could you give us your opinion on the ID registration process? Specifically the fact that it asks if you already have a NNID and how that might play a role in account transfers or why it might be there if account transfers are not possible?

Posted:A year ago

#18

Dan Pearson European Editor, GamesIndustry.biz

114 325 2.9
Jim, we don't have access to Wii U units in the UK yet, so I can only go on the text above. I would presume that once you use an existing NNID on a Wii U console, it's tied to that machine, but that would be pure speculation.

Posted:A year ago

#19

Sean Lane Artist/Animator, Sneaky Games

15 7 0.5
The 3DS is like this too. You can transfer accounts from one 3DS to another but I shudder what would happen if I lost my 3DS since I take it everywhere to get streetpasses (which information really should be stored on their server as I would lost a year's worth of work as well losing my 3DS).

Posted:A year ago

#20

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