Meet the new Nintendo DRM, same as the old Nintendo DRM (but stupider)

Remember how Nintendo's shitty, broken DRM marred the launch of the Wii? They have learned precisely nothing, apparently. The new Wii U has even dumber DRM:

As Nintendo's Wii U FAQ makes clear, "a Nintendo Network Account can only be used on the console where it was created." Thus, any games tied to that unique online ID will only work on the first system they're purchased and downloaded to. This is in essence the same setup that Nintendo used to protect downloaded Virtual Console and WiiWare games on the first Wii, a setup that not only utterly failed to stop piracy on the system but also caused headaches for many early Wii owners with faulty systems.

Wii U's restrictive DRM is a baffling throwback [Kyle Orland/Ars Technica]



      1. It tells me that if I want to buy Nintendo products I’ll have to be content with never receiving any support from them and very probably never using any of their online services, since the only way to manage content conveniently is to download cracked content illegally. 

        Take note game companies, if the choice is between convenient/illegal and inconvenient/legal, I’m going to choose the illegal option. Your bottom lines be damned!

  1. Was planning on buying a WiiU this weekend.   Not going to happen now.

    Because of Nintendo’s craptastic DRM on the Wii, I lost a boatload of data when my original Wii suffered the GPU meltdown that plagued that generation.   Had to send it to Nintendo to be repaired.  It was returned with all my data, but the Mii related data was all readonly because of the DRM and a bunch of other stuff was broken, too.

    Nintendo wanted to charge me $70 to, maybe, fix it.  Maybe.

    In the end, we lived with the data loss, never trusted any of the Mii related stuff again, and, now, the Wii collects dust in the garage.

    So much potential utterly destroyed by a crappy user experience.  

    Looks like the WiiU is doubling down on the stupidity.

  2. Sucky DRM is going to be a nightmare for the video game historians of the future. Thank god for hackers, keeping our digital legacy alive by breakin’ the law. 

  3. I wouldn’t say it’s baffling – tying the DRM to the a console/cpu ID  is the easiest thing to do and Nintendo is still 5 years behind everyone else on online thanks to being pigheaded about ‘nobody wants online’ for a while. Annoying as hell for the customer, yes.

  4. Is it Out-Of-Context Day? The full line from the FAQ is “No, you cannot. A Nintendo Network Account can only be used on the console where it was created. In the future, you will be able to use your Nintendo Network Account with future Nintendo consoles and other devices, such as PC’s.”

    1. “In the future”.  In the vague, undefined future.  If Nintendo gets around to it.  Or hasn’t decided to simply create a new and incompatible network.  Or if Nintendo still gives a crap.  But hey, thanks for the money suckers!

    2. It said the same thing for the Wii, and the DSi stores… Both of those are still in the ‘planning’ stages as well.
      Spend a couple hundred in the store buying yourself or a child stuff, only to have it BLIPPED away if something happens completely out of your control.

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