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Rumor: Used Wii U consoles able to download previously-purchased games

wiiu 300x170 Rumor: Used Wii U consoles able to download previously purchased gamesNintendo’s decision to tie Nintendo Network IDs very closely to WiiU consoles may be reaping unintended benefits for gamers who bought used WiiUs, who discovered they could freely download games bought by the console’s previous owners.

A user at the NeoGAF forums claims they downloaded several free games on a used WiiU they purchased, even though the hard drive had been wiped and a new account had been set up on the console. The licenses for the purchased downloads were still connected to the individual piece of hardware, which told the online store “Hey, it’s cool for this person to download the game again.”

The thing is, tying downloaded games to specific consoles rather than online profiles was supposed to be a feature of the NNID system, intended to let multiple accounts on the same WiiU all play the games each individual account purchased and downloaded. Why or how the games would know when to stop functioning on the console is the mystery.

If this remains uncorrected, the losers in the whole deal would be Nintendo and anyone with downloadable games on the store, who wouldn’t receive revenue from new game sales supposedly “lost” by players getting these free games. Whether those sales would have happened in the first place is debatable, but still troublesome from a developer and sales perspective.

Nintendo hasn’t commented on the rumor yet, but I’d bet a bitcoin the issue gets addressed in a console update relatively soon.

If you bought a WiiU, would this affect your decision to sell it? If you haven’t bought one, is this any incentive to pick one up on the off chance of a “freebie?”

[ via Joystiq, Eurogamer ]

About Russell Jones

By day, Russell works in local TV news. By night, he plays and writes about video games for VGW and his personal blog, The Gentleman Gamer. An avid RPG fan, Russell can also be found plotting the demise of adventurers from behind a Dungeon Master's screen. He can be heard weekly on the "Geek In Review" podcast (GiRPodcast.podomatic.com).

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