News Article

Nintendo Network IDs Are Tied To A Single Wii U Console, For Now

Posted by Damien McFerran

Will change "in the future"

When Nintendo confirmed the death of friend codes and the establishment of the Xbox Box Live-style Nintendo Network ID, the community rejoiced. However, it seems that for the time being at least the system isn't going to be anywhere near as flexible as Microsoft and Sony's online equivalents.

Nintendo Network IDs are tied to a single machine, which sadly means you can't go over to a friend's house and sign into his Wii U with your own ID. It also means that if your machine breaks or is stolen, you lose your ID and all of the purchases you made with it.

Here's the official rub from Nintendo itself:

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

A: 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.

It's disappointing, but that "in the future" comment adds a glimmer of hope; the Nintendo Network ID still has the potential to become a single, unique sign-in across all of Nintendo's platforms.


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User Comments (45)



sr388survivor said:

Yeah I don't know why people kept saying that was gonna happen. Nintendo never confirmed it. Well it'd be nice but I don't think it makes a big difference. I'd rather them work out a better way to play virtual console games on the Wii U.



BenAV said:

I'm happy with that.
I don't need to log in on anyone else's system and if they continue to adapt it in the future then that's even better.



goldbricks23 said:

Has anyone else noticed that when talking about Nintendo ID and plans for the future they always refer to using the ID system on "future consoles"- with no mention of 3DS? Someone please find a link to prove me wrong. Thanks!



erv said:

I hated this on my wii. It died on me and I lost a lot of my purchases and saves. Saves should be tied to my account, which should be available to me anywhere.

I understand not allowing account sharing, but at least give us an opportunity to unpair with a console or something, so we can start off where we left off if one of our devices bites the dust.



PeterW77 said:

@goldbricks23, I was just about to ask about the 3ds. If you have that and a Wii U, can you mot have the same account on both? Doesn't seem like you can.



McHaggis said:

It's disappointing, but that "in the future" comment adds a glimmer of hope

They don't appear to be promising anything for Wii U or 3DS consoles, though. They said 'future Nintendo consoles and other devices', which indicates successors. I hope that's not the case, I'm already severely annoyed that I cannot transfer my Wii Shop purchases from my faulty Wii to my replacement Wii.



Tsuchiya said:


Future consoles may be referring to future Wii U models.Wii U's with bigger onboard memory. I don't know...
Or maybe it'll be widely implemented by the time they are/ if they are released.



shinpichu said:

I had better be able to link my 3DS to my NNID. This should work like how Sony does it.

But this is Nintendo, so who knows ow things are going to turn out.



rjejr said:

So it's called "Nintendo NETWORK ID" but it is only good on the 1, and only 1, console you create it on? Why not just call it "Nintendo Wii U ID" and be up front and truthful about it?

And I'm not just trolling and being a jerk, this is sincere. It's 2012 and I don't think Nintendo knows what "NETWORK" means.



LavaTwilight said:

At the end of the day it protects them from having games stolen by customers and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Should there be a system error that will undoubtedly happen to one or two individuals then I'm sure Nintendo will set the account back up on the replacement WiiU.



H_Hunter said:

When you purchase a game at Sony Network, you can make 5 of your friends download the same game for free. Not in Nintendo... those cheap #$%^&@!



Auracle said:

I'm ok with this for now. It would be nice to see Nintendo expand this in the future, though.



nomeacuerdo said:

I hope that they deliver soon a system update for the 3DS so I can reserve my NID until I can get my Wii U



Slapshot said:

Wow! I'd have thought they would have learned their lesson about this by now.



WesCash said:

I know right!?!

This is ridiculous. It's fracking 2013 in a month! They better fix this and have an update. Not for a future console, now! What's the point of having accounts if games are tied to a system anyway?

If you can't tell, I'm a little mad. Sometimes I think Nintendo is run by clueless buffoons.



Shiromikio said:

Sorry, but this is pathetic. The system's getting there, but so slowly. This should've been one of the first things tackled, it's five years late already. While most people would have only one home console of that kind active (i.e. one Wii, one Wii U, etc.), devices can break or who knows, people might pass on their old one to a relative/friend. With Miiverse and people having both portable and home consoles, it's obviously important to have a real network account and not this one-device-only nonsense.

Hopefully they'll push it out a bit faster.



shingi_70 said:


Yep it baffles me how people are okay with this and expect it to be patched in. Nintendo's whole online is still somwhat jankey and missing componets which have been a standard on other consoles and services for around 7-8 years now.

For all of the the gaming press hates nintendo I hear, I think nintendo fans give nintendo a ton of leeway when it comes to these thing. (One part ignorance/one part fanboy)



New_3DaSh_XL said:

I can see why they did this(so people wouldn't get into other people's accounts) but it'd still be annoying to those whose Wii Us break or are stolen.



ultraraichu said:

Well I not expecting to get my Wii U stolen or breaking in pieces beyond Nintendo's repair so I'm ok with this.

View of an optimist: at least someone else can't login to my account on a different console even if they have my NN ID and password.
Btw never share this and other personal info with ppl you don't know and trust kids ^_^



Crunc said:

That's pretty terrible. I hope they do change it so you can log in on other consoles, and such that you don't lose all your purchases if your Wii U gives up the ghost. Sometimes Nintendo is so freaking clueless. Plus some day I'd like to have 2 WIi U consoles (we have 2 Xbox 360s). This locked to a single system stuff is bull.



pntjr said:

Does this really matter right now? I'm still happy they got rid of those awful friend codes and did IDs. Don't worry, they will eventually get them, maybe for 3DS too. Patience.



LegendaryQ said:

We might be able to use it on PC?

... I'm thinking of some sort of Steam-like interface with the eShop. Which would be amazing.



rodoubleb said:

It should be a big problem if you permanently loose digital purchases due to theft OR malfunction.



FonistofCruxis said:

I hope this changes. I was hoping that the ID system would mean that nothing would happen to the owner's games if something happened to their Wii U.



Emaan said:

That's a shame. Although there's still hope we can have the ID stay with us for future generations.



Firejonie said:

Nintendo......... a big reason that we wanted an account system was so if in case our console was broken/lost, we could get all our downloads on our new console. This needs to change.



espinozac7 said:

I can tell why they did this. They don't want people to use the same account to get a second copy of a game for free. If they do this, why make ID's in the first place?
I still want ID's on the 3DS, though.



Henmii said:

"It also means that if your machine breaks or is stolen, you lose your ID and all of the purchases you made with it"

So it has no use (for me at least): If the Wii u breaks, you can say goodbye to your downloads! Not much has changed since the Wii, it seems!!



WaxxyOne said:

If the system breaks, just like with the Wii, you can send it into Nintendo and they will transfer all your licenses from the old system to the new system. If it's lost/stolen, you may have bigger issues but I like to think that at that point they could transfer your Network ID to a replacement console.

Still, this is very disappointing. I was hoping that the days of having your software locked to one console were behind Nintendo, but apparently not. I can't really think of a good alternative though. The Microsoft system works by requiring you to log in to another console and then download the games, which then become disabled when another user is logged in. Nintendo wants all games on the console to work for any user playing it. How would they prevent people from going to their friend's house, signing in, downloading, and then leaving the software on there for the friend to play whenever they want?

I don't know, it's a tricky situation but still pretty disheartening.



shingi_70 said:


Guess what the xbox 360 could do all of this the day it came out. Why can't nintendo figure the simplest stuff out.

Also the giantbomb guys contacted nintendo and nintendo customer service didn't have a solution at all.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Well there goes one of the biggest reasons to get a Wii U. Whats the point anyway if there are only 12 slots for accounts? If I go to a friend's house and sign in with my account thats still taking up one of the slots on his console and that slot becomes unusable to anybody else.

@TheDreamingHawk That doesn't mean it'll be patched in either, your account could be locked onto the other devices too. Why are people being so wishy-washy? When accounts were first announce everyone was all "YES! FINALLY!" but the moment its announced they're basically glorified friend codes everyones all "Oh well, shouldn't matter". This sin't a case of Nintendo figuring things out, this is one of the console's most basic features and should be a non-issue.



Henmii said:

"If the system breaks, just like with the Wii, you can send it into Nintendo and they will transfer all your licenses from the old system to the new system"

Are you sure? Some people say what you are saying, but other people tell something different! Nobody seems exactly to know WHAT happens if your console breaks. Nintendo never made it very clear!

I think it's pretty scary! I would cry if I would lose all my Wii shop downloads!!



KneehighPark said:

Wow. I don't mean to be so crass, but that is just plain stupid. The reason I was looking forward to the Nintendo Network ID was to have a server based username/ID. This means I can't go to a friend's house and sign into my Nintendo Network ID (though with the lack of an achievement system, the reasons for doing so are lessened...). People better hope their Wii U doesn't get bricked or stolen, because I wouldn't be surprised if your ID is lost forever.



farfromsleep said:

I really hoped they'd have fixed this by now. It doesn't seem like a big issue until you have to deal with it yourself.

The piracy argument doesn't really fly anymore either. MS, Sony and Apple have all offered fairly painless methods of re-downloading purchases to new systems for years now, and they seem to do okay. Any serious pirates are much more interested in modding/hacking the system, and that's an issue these kinds of measures do nothing to protect against.

@waxxyone "The Microsoft system works by requiring you to log in to another console and then download the games, which then become disabled when another user is logged in. Nintendo wants all games on the console to work for any user playing it."

The MS system only works that way if you still have the licences active on your original system. Anything you buy is playable from any account on the licensed system, and you can permanently transfer those licences to another system any time you like. This is exactly the kind of thing Nintendo should be doing.

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