Nintendo confirmed a few days ago that you will be able to transfer your Virtual Console and WiiWare games from your old Wii to your brand new Wii U. That’s great. But I wasn’t concerned with Nintendo not allowing the transfer itself, I’ve been concerned with what I’ll need in order to perform the transfer.
An annoying flaw in the process of transferring data between one 3DS unit and a new 3DS system, like the 3DS XL, is that you need both systems in order to perform the transfer.
All saved data, activity log data, downloadable game purchases are transferred from the old 3DS to the new one but both 3DS systems have to be connected to the internet at the same time near each other to do so. This limits people from trading in their old 3DS unit in order to help pay for the new 3DS.
So if you’re hoping to trade in your old 3DS to GameStop or sell it online towards a new 3DS you can’t sell the old one until AFTER you purchase and bring home the new one.
I reached out to Nintendo to see if the transfer process of Wii data to the Wii U will work this way as well. Sadly it appears so. The Nintendo Rep I contact told me this:
Thank you for writing. I can confirm that you will be able to transfer your content from your Wii to the new Wii U. Wii U owners can wirelessly transfer content such as Miis, and WiiWare and Virtual Console games to their Wii U systems. Both systems will need to be connected to the Internet and the Wii U will need an SD card to facilitate the transfer. The process is very similar to transferring content from Nintendo DS to Nintendo 3DS or from Nintendo 3DS to Nintendo 3DS XL; which has been received positively by consumers. Transferred Wii content is accessible and can be played through Wii Mode, an application on the Wii U’s main menu. For updated information please keep checking our website at:
Nintendo of America Inc.
So if you’ve already traded in your Wii system with all of your WiiWare and Virtual Console games to GameStop then you’re totally boned. You won’t be able to get those games back on your Wii U, you’ll need to repurchase them.
To summarize: You won’t be able to transfer your old Wii data, virtual console and WiiWare games to your Wii U unless you still have your Wii functioning and connected to the internet.
This isn’t terrible. It is probably the best solution Nintendo could come up with to make up for the fact that the Wii has no central account system to control issues like this.
But is still going to be upsetting for consumers who don’t look out for information like this and realize one day that all those downloaded games on their old Wii are forever gone.
So until you get that shiny new Wii U in your home don’t sell your Wii!