Are old Wii store purchases recoverable on a new Wii U?
February 16, 2014 2:35 AM   Subscribe

I used to have a Wii some years ago and had quite a lot of downloaded content, espcially virtual console titles and some "wiiware" games. The Wii broke and was thrown away. We're thinking of getting a Wii U for my kids and I wondered if these purchases are now lost.

I know that some purchases can be transferred using us a special procedure and an SD Card if you physically have access to both consoles, which I don't. I almost certainly still have the same email address that is on the Wii account (if there is one?!) but I don't know where to log in or what account recovery options there are.
posted by samworm to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Unless something changed recently, unfortunately not. This is the biggest problem with Nintendo's online store IMO. You have to physically have the two consoles. According to this thread, they sometimes make exceptions, but based on anecdata, I wouldn't get your hopes up.

If you still had the Wii, you could get it repaired by Nintendo and then transfer the titles.
posted by Magnakai at 8:54 AM on February 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Were you a member of Club Nintendo? That automatically registers your purchases, and if you try calling nintendo, will greatly increase your chances of them helping you out.

Nintendo is moving away from this model (with their new NNID system) but it's still pretty primitive.
posted by Oktober at 6:39 PM on February 16, 2014

It seems that, on the Wii, the record of purchases comes in the form of signed license files in the system's Flash memory. I remember reading that, if you jailbroke the system to access the NAND and constructed a valid license file in the appropriate place, a later visit to the Wii store would show you as having purchased the title. So, the transfer process to the Wii U basically involves transferring these licenses, in addition of course to the saves and game data on the system.

As Oktober says, this is pretty terrible. I don't remember if the Wii can be set up to email receipts upon purchases, but if it can, and was, then maybe if you look through your email archives you might find records of those purchases? I really don't know if that would be of use, but if they're looking for evidence it might be something to check.
posted by JHarris at 2:13 AM on February 17, 2014

Thanks for the suggestions. I don't want to try dealing with Nintendo over this, and even then it sounds unlikely to get anywhere. I think my best option is to just forget I ever bought those items!

It is disappointing that Nintendo seem to have gone for a policy based on "sold to the machine" rather than "sold to the person" but I guess that isn't really news :(
posted by samworm at 8:17 AM on February 17, 2014

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