While many of the Wii U‘s important features have already been covered extensively — be it the new online infrastructure, the Wii U game pad, or any of the 50+ launch window games — there are still some important details to explain now that the console is out in the wild. In fact, many gamers with online pre-orders should start receiving their consoles well into the late hours of today, or hopefully tomorrow, but before they do they should be aware of two rather quirky “features.”
The first, and most important, is that the Nintendo Network ID, essentially Nintendo’s version of the gamertag for the Wii U, is tied to a single console. That means that once a Network ID has been registered with a Wii U, it cannot be transferred or reactivated on another console.
Nintendo has confirmed the news as well, saying that there are plans to use the “Nintendo Network Account with future Nintendo consoles and other devices, such as PCs,” but for now the ID is tied to the console.
This might not seem too problematic on the surface, but considering the Network ID is also tied to stored game progress and digital purchases it complicates the issue even further. If for example, a gamer were to break their console, they would essentially have to start from scratch.
There’s a hope that as Nintendo works out the kinks in the Wii U, starting first with the console-bricking update and day one hacks, they will address the Network ID issue, but for now gamers should be very careful when first registering anything on the Wii U.
Although the Network ID has freed gamers from the burden of the friend codes, it has by extension opened younger gamers to the perils of online gaming. To help combat that issue, or more specifically, to render themselves free from blame in the matter, Nintendo has created a new consent system for the Wii U, which allows parents to allow children under 13 to create a Nintendo Network account.
Unfortunately, in order to provide consent those parents will need to pay a one-time fee of $.50. Luckily for multi-child households this one-time payment will thereby act as universal parental consent.
It’s a smart way to prevent minors from accessing the Wii U’s online services without permission, but to have to enter credit card information just for a $.50 charge seems like a hassle. The console doesn’t, however, keep credit card information on file after the purchase, or any eShop purchase for that matter, so parents who are concerned about sensitive information needn’t worry. Gamers who make purchases frequently, though, will find the lack of credit card saving is its own hassle.
And, as if gamers aren’t already getting the impression this is the first online rodeo for the Wii U, reports are coming in that Netflix users are having trouble signing in to their account. Not because the online is failing, mind you, but because the service does not offer the ‘@’ symbol when entering a password.
So gamers who know a thing or two about password security, and like to include a healthy dose of letters, numbers, and symbols in their password are unable to access the Watch Instantly service. Hopefully Nintendo or Netflix, whoever is responsible, fixes this issue quickly.
Have you discovered any other small quirks about the Wii U‘s online registration process? How do you feel about the Nintendo Network ID?