Picked Up A Pre-Owned Wii U Console? You Could Have Access To Free Downloads

Content tied to hardware and not Nintendo Network ID

We all know that the current Nintendo Network ID system isn't perfect - we've spoken about it in the past, in fact. However, things have become even more interesting with the news that second-hand Wii U consoles retain download privileges for games purchased by the original owner - even after the Nintendo Network ID has been removed and the console's hard drive has been erased.

This issue has only just come to light because the system is still quite new and we can't imagine there are many pre-owned Wii U consoles out in the wild, but a poster on NeoGAF has reported that they picked up a second-hand Wii U and were able to download Trine 2 and Nano Assault Neo free of charge - because the previous owner had bought them and then deleted them before they sold on the system.

This only serves to reinforce the problems surrounding the fact that downloads are tied to the hardware, and not the Nintendo Network ID they were used to purchase them with. This is in stark contrast with how Microsoft and Sony handle things - purchases are linked to your ID and can effectively be transferred to any other console you sign into.

At the time of writing, the only way to transfer your Nintendo Network ID from one system to another is to physically send your old system to Nintendo, but it's interesting to note that purchases are not mentioned.

Have any of you guys picked up a second-hand Wii U? Have you looked to see if you're entitled to download any games? Have any of you had to transfer your ID from one machine to another, and if so, did it let you access all of the games you'd previously downloaded? Let us know by leaving a comment.

[via vg247.com, neogaf.com]