How Wii U User Accounts And Nintendo Network IDs Will Work

By Ishaan . November 7, 2012 . 7:45am

The Wii U uses a new account system for user accounts, Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, shared in a Nintendo Direct presentation this morning. You can register up to 12 users per console and each one is represented by a Mii.


User accounts are used to separate custom game settings for individual pieces of software, Internet bookmarks, play history, as well as game save data. Some games, however, will allow you to share save data among multiple user accounts on the same console. The first thing you do when you boot up your Wii U is select the appropriate user account that you will be using.


User accounts are tied to consoles, however. To purchase games from the Nintendo eShop, use Miiverse, or the video chat function, you will have to register a “Nintendo Network ID,” which will require you to input a password, gender, date of birth, e-mail, and area of residence. A single Nintendo Network ID can be used to download software and purchase add-on content, and this content will be available to all user accounts on the Wii U console in question.


Iwata also adds that the Nintendo Network will work with network services from other software developers. Once you link your Nintendo Network ID to other services, you can use it as an all-encompassing ID that lets you sign into each separate service.


Your Nintendo Network ID will also be available for use on Nintendo devices that are released in the future. Additionally, it will also be compatible with planned services that will be rolled out on PCs and smartphones, which will allow you to browse the Nintendo eShop and Miiverse without a Nintendo device.


You will also be able to transfer content from your Wii to your Wii U, Iwata confirmed. Both WiiWare and Virtual Console games will be transferrable and more details on this front will be announced later.


You can view the English-subtitled Nintendo Direct presentation here.

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  • very cool

  • Tylor Makimoto

    Here’s my big question; will it come to the 3DS? I know for a fact that, should mine ever be broken or stolen, I will want a way to get my downloaded titles back.

    • XypherCode

      I think we’ll have to wait for more details on this even though we are all very curious about this as well. But if you use a credit card for purchasing stuff on the eShop then maybe you can just call up Nintendo for that. They do have you purchase history info after all (maybe? lol). Or maybe if you tied up you Club Nintendo account for example you can check up on them for that as well.

    • They have said that user accounts will be coming to 3DS as well, and the Miiverse service will, too, in some capacity.

      • Tylor Makimoto

        I knew that Miiverse was coming, but hearing the 3DS will have accounts is amazing.
        Now I wonder whether you will be limited to a single registered system, or if you can register on a second 3DS. Probably not, seeing as how that would make game sharing far too easy.

  • kupomogli

    When they say transfer titles from Wii to Wii U, sounds like transfer means transfer instead of copy.  So the Wii is now a paperweight since just about everyone who wants one as well as most people who don’t want one already have one?

    • Izzy Miyake

      You can still use it to play Gamecube titles and if its homebrewed like mine, its also region free.

      Besides that means there’s one console you can leave at home and one to take with you.

  • SirRichard

    “Both WiiWare and Virtual Console games will be transferrable and more details on this front will be announced later.”

    I’d hope they make it so that everything available through the Wii shop will be made available through the one for the U; they did with it the DSiWare being available on 3DS, which was nice, but there’s a few VC titles I’ve been interested in but haven’t nabbed yet and it’d be really convenient if I could just transfer what I have now and add those in on the other end.

    Otherwise, good to see Nintendo catching up to their competitors at last, though 12 users on one console seems a bit excessive. It’s going good so far, lads, don’t mess it up now!

    • puchinri

      Then again, do we know if that won’t become an option as well? To me, it’d be strange for that to not be the case to some degree. But indeed, transferring alone is very handy.

      (Also, 12 users may seem like a lot, but it’s nice for larger families, or friends and roommates that share a place or the console, etc.)

    • idrawrobots

      I would love to see the 3ds eShop available on the Wii U too.

  • puchinri

    Wantttt. I’m going to have to start saving for a Wii U sooner than I planned, it seems. 

  • Houten Lee

    Humm… so if I have a save for say… Monster Hunter 3U each of the 12 user will have their own 3 slot save? (sorry its the most anticipated game for me) and can transfer them to 3DS to play?

  • $30632660

    The end of the Friend Code’s Reign of Terror is upon us!

    • SLick123456789111

       Thankz God too.

      Will make SuperSmashBros.4U online less tedious.

  • malek86

    I have a vague feeling that this means purchases will still be tied to the console rather than the account ._.

    • Kevin Tan

      Given the fact that NNID can be used on other devices outside the Wii U.  I feel that it’s not feasible to keep things tied to a console if you can buy anything from anywhere.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    so Friend Codes are truly gone for good? wait is the 3DS going to drop it too? 

    • Kevin Tan

      FCs gone.  They want the 3DS to use NNID, so it’s probably going away there too.

      • ShawnOtakuSomething

        Time to think of names 

  • wahyudil

    Nintendo Network ID … like Blackberry?

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