Don’t Lose/Break Your Wii U, Because Your Nintendo Network Account Is Tied To It

Don’t Lose/Break Your Wii U, Because Your Nintendo Network Account Is Tied To It

In the past six years I’ve been through four Xbox 360 consoles and three PlayStation 3s. Which has been a pain, but each and every time I’ve been able to simply transfer my existing system account to the new console through the magic of the internet.

You’d think that would be something Nintendo could manage rather easily, but nope. Turns out that the Nintendo Network ID you create for a Wii U will, for now at least, be tied to that console. If you lose that console – for whatever reason – you lose the ID that went with it. If you buy a second-hand console, and want to import your ID, you can’t. If you’re at a friend’s house and want to sign on using your account, you can’t.

Here’s the relevant statement from Nintendo’s support page:


That “future” consoles thing is a little confusing, as it’s unclear whether they mean the next console after the Wii U, or simply Wii U machines in the future, when this feature is patched in. We’ll contact Nintendo and update if we hear back.

Hopefully it’s something that can be patched in, because boy, if people lose their accounts and their consoles at the same time, they’ll be pretty damn upset.

Can I Log Into My Nintendo Network Account on a Different Console? [Nintendo Support, thanks everyone!]


    • If this is what they need to capture your details, then they should make you register it with them somewhere. e.g. in your club Nintendo account.

      As somebody who recently lost his 3DS but never remembered to take a photo of his serial number and has therefore lost all his downloads, I’m not happy with this development.

      Not likely to leave a Wii U on the plane, but still – this isn’t amateur hour, Nintendo.

  • Well that’s fucking stupid…

    This is something you’d expect to be in and one of the reasons why accounts can be useful. It’s just like the 3DS, what if I lose it, or it breaks? Well bad luck to me because I’ve just lost everything I’ve purchased and obtained.


    EDIT: Or I could do what VOOK suggested :P. But what if I didn’t take a pic of my serial number?


    • I agree, this is silly.

      I thought I was being overly pedantic the other day when I said that they had “failed to address how they approach using the same account on multiple [Wii U] consoles”.

    • Ladies and Gentlemen, Nintendo! *round of applause*

      I love them, really I do… But they need to stop pretending the rest of the industry doesn’t matter, creating their own broken implementations and then lauding them. The video with Iwata describing the account system was insulting… As though users have never heard any of the terms he mentioned before, like ‘account’ and ‘user’.

      They act as though they’re McDonalds, coming out with wretched fried chicken and claiming they invented it.

  • Hope that changes in the future, i have only had to repair the DVD drive on the the Wii but never lost the actual console so i’ve never had to transfer and account from one console to another, but having no way to transfer from Wii U to Wii U needs to be fixed.

      • Still a first world problem. Regardless if the person having that problem is a poor kid in Africa or a fat caucasian kid from the burbs.

  • I’m more curious on how he lost 4 XBOX 360′ and 3 PS3s sure they all have hardware failures but not that often.

    Does this guy buy purely second hand?

    • I’ve been through 5 360s and 4 PS3s. All of which have been stored flat and in a well-ventilated environment as well as not really being moved once put in place and connected up. All brand new (or in a couple of cases, refurbished through being sent back to MS/Sony under warranty) consoles.

      I guess you’ve just been lucky with your consoles.

      • In contrast, my SNES, N64, PS, PS2 slim, Gamecube, Wii and Dreamcast are all still going strong. Guess this where I’m supposed to say something like “They don’t make ’em like they used to” and “Get off my lawn!”. 😛

      • I lost the same xbox 360 five times. I got the extended warranty because I knew they had issues when I bougth the thing. Same problem each time.

    • “this guy” plays a shitload of video games for extended periods of time 🙂

      That’s seven failed consoles in six years. Not a bad rate, considering all the dead 360s were pre-warrantypocalypse death traps.

  • So how does this work in relation to games / content you’ve bought off their store? Presumably that content is tied to the account and/or console you used to purchase it. So if your console gets stolen or breaks down then you don’t just lose your console but you also lose your entire (digital) game collection?

    Surely this is something that can (and will) be addressed with a patch, and soon? Between this and the giant launch day firmware update, this is starting to have a whiff of the 360 about it i.e. something that probably needed another 6 months or so in development but got rushed out the door in order to beat the competition to market.

      • Really? Well… that sucks. I assumed this was just a teething issue. But if it’s been in place for X years with the Wii / Dsi / 3DS then you have to wonder if they have any intention of fixing it. Surely there must be some consumer law which is applicable here (hopefully something other than “buyer beware”)? If not, there should be.

  • So the whole ‘unified account’ thing was just marketing double-speak for a feature you want but we can’t be bothered implementing. Disappointing.

  • You guys are complaining like this was something made by Microsoft? It’s not like Nintendo systems are known to break, I still have my N64 and SNES, and they both work fine.

    • I was thinking that, but I was also thinking of how many XBox’s and PS1/2’s still work. I think it will be interesting to see how Nintendo’s jump to HD works out for them in terms of hardware longevity. Because it didn’t really work out with Sony and Microsoft, whose previous consoles were all pretty hardy as well.

  • I’m still baffled by how many people have gone through so many consoles, I have had just about every console since the Gameboy and have never had a single one completely failed.

    Except when I leant my friend my ps2 didn’t see it for 6 months until he dug it out of hise garage, needless to say I don’t lend consoles no more

    I still have a fully functioning N64 from au launch day.

    • It’s not really like it’s any console-owners fault. It’s just luck of the draw. A large percentage of launch-spec current gen consoles will fail and it’s mostly a matter of luck as to if yours is one of them or not. Sounds like you are one of the lucky ones. 🙂

  • Man, this is something you’d have thought would come out of the Sony camp, not Nintendo.
    WTF are they thinking? Srsly, who comes up with this kind of nonsense and how does any rational person at Nintendo say “Yeah! That’s a great idea! Our customers will love it!”

  • I quite literally abused my Wii (dropping it twice, taking it apart, attacking the motherboard with sharp objects) and, aside from the very occasional freeze or the clicking noise made by the DVD drive, it still works. Don’t know what difference HD is supposed to make to the longevity of a console, but I don’t expect my Wii U to have any issues.

  • Something else rubbish about this: It means that you can’t reserve your Nintendo ID on a friend’s console. So if you don’t buy one at launch, you’re unlikely to get the handle that you want if it’s even short or even remotely common.

    • If it’s anything like their past systems, you will get a numerical ID assigned to you, and be able to call yourself whatever you want. I’m not sure that that is how these Nintendo network accounts work, but it would make sense.

      • No it’s not, that’s kinda the point. Numeric IDs are gone! You create the id “syvraen” and people can use that to try and connect with you into perpetuity. You do add a display name as well but that’s largely irrelevant.

        But if you have to wait a few months till you can afford one, somebody may already have taken it.

        • Ah, I see. I must have missed this being spelled out (and I haven’t had a chance to read too much of the coverage since it launched).

          There was obviously the press speculation that friend codes were gone, and a vague reference in all these articles to an ID. But there was a similar whisper when the 3DS was coming out, but it ended up just being a transition from game-specific codes to device-specific ones. I thought (read: assumed) the current transition was just about moving from device-specific to account-specific ones.

          Personally, I would rather they be numbers. There isn’t much value in it being a handle that may or may not be your display name. Obviously this article (and your comment) suggests that securing your preferred ID will be a pain.

  • Its not like nintendo even have tried. Same old crappy mario games with people pretending they are something new or innovative. Mario was boring by 1983 when he was in a few game and watches. He was also an animal smuggler at 1st. I prefered him as a baddie. Not the annoying thing he has become.

  • Japan is really falling behind now. They need to come out of their bubble they’ve been living in for the past few years and realise that others around the world are doing what they do but better and cheaper. It’s a street fight for them now, and that means fighting at a global standard, not half-baked solutions which Japanese companies and consumers seem happy enough with. The whole country is stuck in the 90’s, time to wake up!

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!