News Article

Latest Wii U System Update Allows Console To Console Data Transfer

Posted by Damien McFerran

You can now navigate the eShop with multiple controllers, too

Wii U system update version 5.1.0 is rolling out to consoles as we speak, and allows owners to port data from one Wii U console to another.

Previously, users were required to send their Wii U consoles to Nintendo in order to transfer information — such as your Nintendo Network ID, game purchases, game saves and Mii information — but with this update, it is now possible to perform the process from the comfort of your own home. A "System Transfer" option is now available within the System Settings menu.

5.1.0 also brings with it the ability to use the Wii Remote, Wii U Pro Controller or Classic Controller to navigate the Wii U eShop — something which previously was only possible when using the GamePad.

On top of this, there's the usual "improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience".

Have you downloaded the update yet? Let us know what you think by posting a comment below.

Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip.

From the web

User Comments (121)



RIC616 said:

Navigating the e shop with the pro controller will be welcome, as I often go to do it with little luck. The system transfer doesn't seem particularly helpful though, seeing you need a working console to transfer from. It better not be a way of putting the unified account off even longer.



Sockymon said:

More basic features that should have been implemented when the system first shipped?



Firoy said:

Well that is a good improvement. It is nice to see that they are listening what people wants.



0utburst said:

Additional features are awesome. I guess this will be helpful for those upgrading from the basic model to the deluxe model.

Is the feature also available on the 3DS before? It would also be awesome for those switching from their newly preferred 3DS.

Navigating with the other controllers is welcome since I won't need to recharge/plug the gamepad when I need to check the eshop.



Rei7 said:

Not bad but the system data transfer is a bit pain in the butt.. It works well with the 3DS, but to think it will work with a home console too is a bit too much. Still a good update though.



Koapa said:

Downloaded today morning. Changes are nice, but useless for me.
What about to disable downloads while playing a game? Or make an option to disable it permanently?
I had some lags within games, because WiiU was checking something. (last one was in Armillo)



Kewlan said:

Have I downloaded the update?
I have indeed. I have the automatic setting enabled.



I-love-tea said:

Nice to see extra functionally rather than just stability but I still want download games tied to my NNID rather than the hardware. I've got Wii U full of downloads that I could lose if it gets stolen or bricked. I know Nintendo might let me download them on another machine should the worse happen but they've made it clear they don't have to. What if I get tempted by a special edition and buy a second 3DS? It's an all or nothing transfer.



ULTRA-64 said:

Nothing exciting but all useful stuff......folders next please, along with gamepad controls/Wii mode compatibility!



erv said:

I think the ability to transfer your own console system to another is a great improvement. Should my wii U ever break down in a way my wii did, I can now just transfer the system and re apply my hard drive.

Here's hoping that never needs to happen though.



ECMIM said:

For the love of God, Nintendo, NNID-tied software licenses, not hardware-based.



SanderEvers said:

@ECMIM Software is NNID-tied, the NNID is hardware tied Wii U to Wii U transfer = remove NNID from Wii U one, put NNID on Wii U two. (and transfer saves, settings, etc)



0utburst said:

Yeah! I still don't wanna play Xenoblade with Wiimote+nunchuk and I don't wanna buy a CCPro just for it. Gamepad or WiiUPro integration on Wii mode will be awesome.



UltraLaserTen said:

@Koapa Theres an option to be able to pause downloads in the Download Management application you find find in the Wii U HOME Menu.




This is fantastic news since I plan to get a new console but I was worried to get rid of all my old games.



Clandon said:

YAAAY! They finally did it! If I ever hafta switch consoles ala 3DS style, the account can move over!! WOOHOO!

Thank you, Nintendo! ... I'm hoping I won't hafta, but at least I know I have options!



0utburst said:

I LOLed but it's true. And I don't have a problem with NNID being hardware-tied. It's Nintendo's DRM and I can understand that. I mean I could just download my games on other's console if it's not that restrictive and it would be Nintendo's lost. It could be abused.

Anyway, I regret a little bit that I didn't get the Windwaker edition Wii U. Now I can buy one if I wish to and not worry of losing my digital purchases.



Metal_Slugger said:

We need eshop gifting I would love to gift games to people ( family/ friends). I would probably do that as much as I would for myself they are loosing out on money.



Ralek85 said:

@outburst OR they could just do, what Sony and M$ does ... which is vastly preferably in imaginable scenario possible, on the consumer side even more so.



Emblem said:

@I-love-tea That's not how it works, once your NNID is on a new Wii U all purchases made with that NNID can be re-downloaded. I'm on my second Wii U (burglary) and I only had to contact Nintendo to ask them to remove my NNID from my old WII U. Once insurence replaced my Wii U I simply went to the eshop, went to 'my downloads' and re-downloaded them all. This happened around the time Pikmin 3 came out so they have had this option since at least then.



Omarsonic9 said:

"You can now navigate the eShop with multiple controllers, too"

Thx Nintendo. Now please, do not make the Gamepad mandatory to use, I hate wasting it's battery life when not using it

and I HATE the sleep mode for the gamepad, it's annoying



DualWielding said:

the fact that you still need both consoles at the same place and working to make a transfer is pathetic... Nintendo is so behind everyone else in this area



SanderEvers said:

@Emblem Correct, now Nintendo needs to make a simple "Invaldiate NNID on old console" option which would disable the NNID on the old console. (Like a website, enter your NNID and the Serial Number of the console you wish to remove the NNID from).



0utburst said:

Nintendo doesn't need or is obligated to do so just because the other two is doing it. Sony and MS have subscriptions which makes up for it. Sony even said the PS4 if already making profits for subscriptions alone. And they don't rely on their first party games that much. Nintendo rely heavily on their first party softwares/games to sell. I'm not saying Nintendo shouldn't do it, I will be happy if they do. I said I understand if they don't.



DualWielding said:


PS3 has it and Vita has it and subscriptions are not mandatory for those systems... not to mention, Google, Apple, Steam, Amazon and about every single trader of digital goods other than Nintendo... No Nintendo has no excuse for their tying games to hardware practice



King47 said:

I got this last night and was wondering what it's for. The eshop update is very welcome.



King47 said:

I got this last night and was wondering what it's for. The eshop update is very welcome.



I-love-tea said:

@Emblem Okay, glad it worked out for you. I still think it would have been easier without the call to Nintendo.
Did you have to prove it was stolen? Also what about any WiiWare/Wii VC games?



0utburst said:

Except you can't give away your iOS/Android devices with your account on it. They could access your emails etc. Removing your account will also remove the downloaded items. Plus they don't rely much on their softwares as they are free. They rely on hardware sales and their services fee like iTunes, Google Play music, streaming etc and royalties from tons of 3rd party apps. Also ad revenues. You can't compare Nintendo as they rely only on IP royalties, software/game sales and hardwares.



kastark said:

What state will the source be left in ?
I guess like a "new" console
NNID also deleted.



Einherjar said:

@Sockymon Well, the basic function was a working eShop with the systems main controller, which is still the tablet. Id call it "slightly enhanced" features

@kastark I guess its the same as with the 3DS transfer. The source will be set to factory default after it, or else people would go crazy duplicating systems with a bunch of purchased stuff on it.



Aerona said:

Here's the storage solution I've been looking for. I think I'll just sell my basic model and upgrade to the deluxe.



Gonzo1 said:

So am I correct in assuming that the WiiU System Transfer function will be totally useless if your current Wii actually dies completely thus then unable to do the transfer to a new one?
If that's the case then I don't see the point of this function at all.



Tsurii said:

Uhm..don't want to pop you guy's little bubbles, but...WHO - other than people with the basic model, who want to upgrade to deluxe - could really use this?

As I understand it, you HAVE to initiate the transfer on the console itself. There're no limited/special editions (yet), like with the 3DS (I know someone who transfers his data everytime a new LE gets released) and if the console is broken and you're getting a still have no access to your data. Unless this update does indeed tie your purchases to your NNID, it's more or less useless for the majority of Wii U owners.



Steel76 said:

Come on Nintendo!!!
Add a damn account system, so we can just add our purchases to THAT.
If my Wii U crashes and burns in the future, and I need to buy a new one, then there is no easy way to get those games back, unless I send my old machine to Nintendo.
Playstation and Xbox have had this system for YEARS, this should have been added back in the original Wii days....
Oh well, maybe in 5 years or so



xxAcesHighxx said:

Why won't Nintendo give us folders? As someone who downloads a good 95% of their Wii U software, I'm running out of homescreen slots... And fast



FullbringIchigo said:

with the ability to transfer from one Wii U to another I wonder if this means Nintendo are thinking of releasing a newer version of the Wii U with a bigger HDD or something



Ventilator said:

Nice update. It would be cool if you could see which games have on your friend list.
They also need to tie software to account and not hardware.
Even Microsoft allowed that on 360, but PS3 was partially locked.
Android is only locked to account too.



Sean_Aaron said:

It at least opens the possibility of upgrading or swapping your machine at a later date. I would hope you wouldn't have to transfer downloads though!



Sonic_Phantom said:

Good to see that common sense has finally prevailed with eShop controller access. Hopefully more forced GamePad mandatoriness will be phased out next, like System Settings and Mario Kart 8 mini-map!



Sockymon said:

@Nightsider Well, it's not really a question of just being happy. All the changes in this update are minor things that should have been incorporated in the first place. They're certainly useful - just not major. Skimming through the thread more people would have liked the account structure fixing.



Buduski said:

@RIC616, in my case The system transfer would of been extremely helpful when I bought my Wii U, I created my NNID on my girlfriends Wii U and even downloaded a few games from the e-shop, but when it came time to transfer all the content to MY brand new Wii U, I had to call Nintendo and wait a week for them to transfer all my content, the only thing is I did not have to send in my Wii U as the article states.



Ralek85 said:

@outburst You are right of course, they are under no obligation to follow suit with Sony and M$, no obligation what so ever. I don't think I ever implied they are though, I just wish they would take a similar consumer-friendly stance.
There is no denying, that Nintendo demands a premium price, despite the lack of any premium features. I sounds innocent enough, but for me it isn't. If it weren't for MK8 and SSB, I would have kept right at it, showing them the cold shoulder for this. I think the way they are handling the NNID and the Nintendo Network, is by now, a bad joke. They were way behind on this when the 3DS launched, they made minor progress with the WiiU, it's 2014 and to me it seems, that they are still moving at a snails pace, despite having lightyears to go.
If their online framework would look anything like XLive or PSN, I would have a much, much easier time of convining my buddies to get on board with this. It's no exaggeration to say, that the lack of features here, with all it's implications, is the biggest turn-off for the system right now, at least in my circles.
It's just hard to convince people to pay a premium for last-gen hardware ... weighed down by pre-last-gen feature ... and it'S such a shame, too, since by now the content itself is all there ... it just packaged as badly as anyone could imagine it is, in 2014. Darn shame really ...



Zombie_Barioth said:

Obviously you shouldn't, but on the flip-side you could sell your Wii U with your old account and games if you wanted, so it could be abused either way. People did that with PSPs all the time.

Anyway, @Dualwielding's point about Sony and MS still stands, and the point is its a very basic feature of digital platforms. They aren't obligated to provide it, but its foolish not to by today's standard. Sony was new to it as well 7-8 years ago, they had PSN accounts figured out and everything planned from the start.

Nintendo came up with friend-codes, figured out online play, digital purchases and even DLC, so they blew the "still figuring things out" excuse. I seriously doubt they're exploring anything. It just seems to be really low-priority for them, they don't see an immediate benefit in it for them, not like say, a game has, so they'll "get to it when they get to it".



readyletsgo said:

Cool. I wonder if this hints at a new WiiU with 500gb hdd is going to be announced, so we can upgrand and transfer all our downloads and NNID with no hassle.



TruenoGT said:

All set for hopefully a red Wii U in the future (orange if I was really greedy)!



kyuubikid213 said:

Okay. Well, if my Wii U ever starts acting up on me, I'll be sure to use this feature. Otherwise, I'll just buy a HDD for my Basic Wii U.

I don't download too much digitally, so I haven't had any trouble with my storage space... and I've got a 16GB Flash Drive in there that's able to hold small downloads like The Letter, Update Data for Assassin's Creed, and Trine 2.



SilentHunter382 said:

While it is something atleast but I still want nintendo to have a proper profile system. Your competition has it for the last 8-9 years.



majinx07 said:

Does the update allow to System data transfer Wii data as well or just Wii U data?



ricklongo said:

Those are great updates. The system transfer is especially good news, since it seems to pave the way for a true account-based system in the future.

The e-Shop navigation options are nice to have, but I fail to see why anyone would want to navigate it without the gamepad. The touchscreen makes everything so much easier, ESPECIALLY when it comes to write things up (such as a game's name in the "search" function or a credit card number).



CrazyOtto said:

Good, I've been planning on switching my my white Basic 8GB Wii U to a deluxe 32GB one.



Genesaur said:

Might browse the eShop with a Pro Controller, now and again, but I probably won't use this update much, other than delighting in more sweet, sweet stability.



shigulicious said:

Slowly, the WiiU is becoming much more user friendly. The quick start update was very well done. Now, moving forward, folders,linked accounts with the 3ds and allowing us to play Wii games ( at least the VC and eshop ones) on the gamepad using gamepads controls please. Please!



OneBagTravel said:

Keep 'em coming. There's so much more to expand on with the Wii U that I feel we need to see more of these updates sooner than later.

My biggest request: A live friends list from the home screen that doesn't require launching a separate app to use.



3DSfan134 said:

Gotta love that stability!

Also the update is about to be downloading now. Good thing for the console transfer to be useful because if my Wii U starts to act up I can transfer all the data in another console! Now I can also use my Wii Remote to access the eShop.



Darknyht said:

Always nice to have more features and ability with your console. This did mess up my night as I needed to turn in an eShop code, but got hit with a "You must update to continue" instead. By the time it finished and I downloaded the content, I was too tired to play it.



Nightsider said:

@Sockymon OK that's fine but why can't you just accept that they weren't available at launch and welcome the fact that they are coming now rather than never.



NiBar said:

That's all fine good but I need an option to turn only the screen off on the gamepad when playing on the tv. Games like NSMBU, Chasing Aura, Duck Tales, Puddle etc. use it solely for mirroring the image. It's very much distracting to have the same game on two screens when I want to play it with the gamepad on the tv. As it is now I can only turn the whole gamepad off when playing with a different controller, that's not good enough.



ultraraichu said:

Any update for the Wii U is a good update, even if I'm not going to take advantage of the features.



knbstone said:

We have 2 Wii Us on the house... it would be soooo great to only have to deal with one NNID. It would also be great to be able to move games between consoles for convenience of game-play. Owning 2 copies of Little Inferno is not really that big of a deal, but it seems unreasonable to expect me to download 2 copies of Wind Waker HD. We sometimes have to make hard choices about what console our games live on. It would be great to be able to transfer a game at a time. Even Apple lets you install games and apps on up to 5 devices...



Stu13 said:

It's nice to know that the transfer option is there in case the disk drive ever craps out or something. That happened to the first Wii I had and it was painful to not be able to bring all of the games that were on there over to the new one.



alex167 said:

I read on Nintendo forums once the five/six tabs are filled a new tab is created, so i don't think folders will be added for Wii U



PKpunky said:

Oh snap... it's finally happened. Time to go bargain hunting for a deluxe console!



Kaze_Memaryu said:

The direct transfer is somewhat situational. But the controller support for the eShop is a nice, albeit not that important, addition.

@alex167 Really? Cause that would be a shame...



akaDv8R said:

@Koapa You can, go into downloads, and in the options you can turn OFF background downloads. It has been there for a long time already.



FJOJR said:

Slowly but surely allowing us to use our Wii Remotes with all applications. Gamepad looking even more like a waste.



AtlanteanMan said:

Okay, I get the idea of someone upgrading from an 8GB to a 32GB model. That said...

While it's nice that you can transfer data from one Wii U to another, my question is WHAT'S THE POINT HERE!!? Because if the original Wii U system is in fine running order, why would you want to wipe its memory to transfer everything to another Wii U? If this was referring to the ability to actually SHARE game saves and other data BETWEEN two active consoles, this would be actual news, and a lot more practical for consumers.

Another thing; transferring said data requires both consoles to be in working order. As I said, there'd be no point in doing this between two working consoles if the original is left a blank slate, but if, say, your original just "bricked" on you, then you're out of luck anyway (and presumably, there go your Virtual Console and eShop purchases...buh-bye). So basically this news DOESN'T CHANGE A THING.

Online and digital might be okay for perennial platforms like the PC (Steam accounts can easily transfer between PCs with all games, etc.), but it's been a nightmare for console hobbyists both from a "keep what you buy 'forever'" as well as from a sharing/transferring data standpoint. And all to keep control over the consumer and their purchase after the point of sale.

Sometimes I actually miss the days of cartridges and everything being on the physical disc you bought at the store. It wasn't perfect but that cartridge/disc could go anywhere with you and play on another person's system, as could your saves (either on the cartridge or a memory card).



AVahne said: Nintendo refuses to continue forward for now, and instead stays in their comfort zone. As a fan, it's sad to see them sit idly in their tiny bubble rather than grow and evolve. This is in terms of how they handle their consoles, mind you, not about the whole company itself.
Nintendo's consoles are crying, because after all this time they're still trying to learn how to walk when their friends and their seniors can already run.



Boshar said:

Great to know I can switch Wii U's iff my original starts acting ' funny'. Who knows maybe there are som nice special Wii U's on the horizon to make upgrading worthwhile.

The best feature IMO is that you can simply switch your external HDD after the transfer. I have a large external HDD so I won't need to re-download any content.

Okay its not 100% like Sony and Microsoft do it but we now have cross buy (EU / Squids Odyssey) and can use our Nintendo ID's to switch machines keeping all our content. Only problem left is if the original hardware dies in which case you need to contact Nintendo. We made a lot of progress these last few months. It will only get better.



Boshar said:

"[IF] your original just "bricked" on you, then you're out of luck anyway (and presumably, there go your Virtual Console and eShop purchases...buh-bye). So basically this news DOESN'T CHANGE A THING."

Not true, you would need to contact Nintendo and supply them with details of your original hardware an your Nintendo ID. They will transfer your games and credit to a new machine.



Hy8ogen said:

Now Nintendo just gave me the perfect excuse to buy Limited Edition Wii Us.....



IceClimbers said:

To clear up confusion here, since people still don't seem to understand.

Your eShop purchases ARE tied to the NNID, NOT the hardware!!!!!! Your NNID is what's tied to the hardware.

Now, all we need is:

-Untying the NNID from the hardware
-Merging the two eShops so I can buy Wii U games on my 3DS and have it start downloading on my Wii U and vice-versa
-Cross buy (particularly for VC games)



AVahne said:

IF that were true, which I need massive amounts of proof and persuasion to believe, then all Nintendo supposedly needs to do to finally catch up with everyone else is untie NNIDs from the consoles.



Thulfram said:

The one thing I wish they would do is to let me buy and play (or at least play) Wii games on the Gamepad.

I understand this might not be easy because Wii games are designed to be used with a WiiMote, but many of the Wii games (and the Wii Virtual games) can use a regular constroller, and maybe the rest could let me remap the GamePad to emulate a WiiMote.

I have a crappy little TV and can't afford a big one so I wind up playing most of my Wii U games on a GamePad but there are plenty of Wii games I want to play there too!



JaxonH said:

@Gonzo1 The "point" is allowing consumers to upgrade to a different system at will, without needing to call Nintendo to get their NNID deactivated from console 1 and tied to console 2. It was and still is useful for 3DS, and will also prove useful for Wii U



kwandar said:

I currently run two Nintendo IDs. Does 5.1 mean I can transfer one of my IDs and related software purchases, to another Wii U system?

Better yet, can I easily transfer between systems at will (ie. buy a system for basement tv and move games down there when I'm playing there?



IceClimbers said:

@AVahne If they ever do this generation, it would probably only be from one of the systems (either the 3DS or the Wii U, not both). Either way, they are catching up.

There's still some other OS updates for each system that are much needed though (Folders on the Wii U, NNID friend list on 3DS and merging it with friend code friend list without ruining Friend Safari, messaging system on 3DS, increasing the number of internet connection settings saved on 3DS because only 3 is beyond ridiculous for a portable device in 2014, etc) Also just noticed that three of those were for 3DS, not Wii U. We might actually be getting to the point where the 3DS needs OS updates more than the Wii U does, but people won't complain about it because the Wii U is apparently the only system that matters when it comes to those updates.



ghasfarost said:

@RIC616 probably this feature will indeed do so. If nintendo was planning to allow cloud based account system, they wouldn't have released this transfer feature to the wiiu



ogo79 said:

i wonder if you can get to the settings, manage data, erase virtual console game saves and the such without the gamepad, as i havent updated my wii u yet.



Marshi said:

Sorry to sound thick but does this mean i can get on miiverse with a new nintendo network id AND keep all my games ive purchased on the old wii u? My console is banned through no fault of mine and id like to get back on miiverse for my son and the art academy communities. Will buying a new wii u enable me to transfer all software and create a new id? Someone please answer



DarkKirby said:

Let go of the console locked purchases Nintendo and just have an account based digital purchases system like EVERYBODY ELSE.



Tman said:

Since this is update 5.1 I was hoping they would finally add 5.1 surround support for Netflix!! Just checked. . .nope!



IceClimbers said:

@DarkKirby They are account based. Your eShop purchases are tied to the NNID, not the console. It's the NNID that's tied to the console. Not much better, but your games are safe either way.



Gonzo1 said:

@JaxonH but for what reason would someone want to upgrade their WiiU at Will?
Yeah maybe going from an 8GB to a 32GB, but even then it's unlikely as a cheaper option would be to buy a HDD if all you want is more storage.
The only reason the vast majority of users would only need to get a new system would be if they've either sold theirs and intend on buying again at a later date or if your WiiU produces a fault outside of the warranty period.
I can sort of understand with 3DS if your going from a 3DS to a 3DS XL or even if you've bought a new 3DS as you may have broke the hinge or cracked the screen of your old one, but I just cannot see why anyone would want or need to replace a perfectly working WiiU with a new one.



JaxonH said:


You have to think more than one dimensionally here. Yes, right now the only reason to upgrade would be from Basic to Deluxe. But we have years and years left in this generation. There are going to be limited edition consoles. There might even be new models down the line. And there are going to be people who use this functionality.

People would be complaining if Nintendo waited to implement this down the line. People would say, "they should have done this BEFORE hand". Well, consider that the case. They're doing it now, so that we're set for the future. And if anyone needs to use it for other reasons (and there are ALWAYS other reasons), they can.

And it's not just upgrading. Sometimes consoles have issues, but aren't completely broken. Now if your Wii U starts having issues (but still turns on), you can transfer all your data without calling Nintendo to deactivate the NNID and re-assign it to the new console. Now you can tranfer data before sending the console in for repair or replacement. It's just another option, and more options are always good. You might not use it. Heck most people might not ever use it. But some will. And now the stage is set for upgrading, in case Nintendo releases any LE or new models.

That's a good thing.



AVahne said:

I tend to forget about the 3DS since I feel the Wii U has more issues, considering it has more power. Anyway, now that you mention it, both systems need quite a lot of work in order to catch up to the rest of the technological world.



DarkEdi said:

An important question:

This transfer includes the Wii mode? or maybe it will continue to use the same tedious transfer Wii system?



SKYW4LK3R said:

@outburst Why would you want to "upgrade" to the deluxe model? It's basically the same console with 24 more gigs... Upgrading your hard drive is the way to go!



AshFoxX said:

So what is the purpose of a system transfer? I mean, I suppose it would be useful if you wanted to buy a deluxe/limited edition system and either sell or give away the old one, but I am more concerned with what will happen to my account and purchased e-shop titles if my system totally breaks.

Pretty sure I won't be able to access system transfer for the only reason why I would care. After all it's not like the Wii U is going to have an upgrade to the hardware in the same way the 3DS did with the 3DSXL causing many gamers, including myself, to buy another console and transfer the system data.

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