Pre-owned Wii U owner discovers 'free games loophole'

Purchases tied to consoles and can be re-downloaded

Customers who buy pre-owned Wii U systems are able to download certain games for free, according to new reports.


Each Wii U system is tied to a Nintendo Network Account and, for now, is non-transferable to other systems. According to one discussion published on games forum NeoGAF, even a wiped pre-owned system will thus give new users access to games already purchased through that account.

CVG has contacted Nintendo for comment.

A NeoGAF user by the name 'DSN2K', who claims to be the new owner of a pre-owned Wii U system, said said: "Whoever owned the console before me purchased multiple games, meaning all the games he purchased are available to re-download for free....This is with a new account I set up as well. Games are clearly linked to console itself.

"Advice to those buying a second hand Wii U... check all the games on the Store... you might be in for some 'free' games!"

Last year Nintendo revealed that Wii U's online service will be serviced through the new Nintendo Network web service.

"A Nintendo Network Account can only be used on the console where it was created," Nintendo added.

"In the future, you will be able to use your Nintendo Network Account with future Nintendo consoles and other devices, such as PCs."

Wii U supports up to 12 individual Nintendo Network IDs per console, which enables each member of the family to have his or her own unique identity on the system. Products purchased by one user can be played by other account holders on the same system.