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Mendon

What Nintendo Says About VC Games

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One of the things I looked forward to when I got my Wii system was downloading & playing VC games. I've bought 4 of them and thought everything was cool until I noticed that one of the VC games I purchased didn't link to my "My Nintendo" account.

I was concerned about this. Some people had said that any VC games you purchased were directly linked to your console and if you exchanged a defective system at the store for another system that you would lose all your VC downloads. Other people said that as long as you linked your VC games to your "My Nintendo" account that you could always be able to redownload them.

 

I didn't know which story was correct but figured I'd better write to Nintendo and get an official explanation, especially since one of my downloads wasn't linked to my "My Nintendo" account. I sent the following message:

 

Hello

 

I recently purchased a Wii and have downloaded the following games from the Wii Shop:

 

Bonks Adventure (TurboGrafx)

Sim City (SNES)

Legend of Zelda (NES)

 

When I look at my "My Nintendo" account it shows that I have downloaded Bonks Adventure and Legend of Zelda. But Sim City does not show up.

 

Could you please look into this for me? My only concern about this is that if I should have problems with my Wii and need to take it back to where I purchased it to exchange it for another Wii, I will lose any VC downloads I have made if they are not recorded on my My Nintendo account.

 

Thank You very much.

 

 

This is the answer I received:

 

Hello,

 

Whether or not the Virtual Console games were registered, if you return your console to the store and swap it for another, that content will be permanently lost. This is frequently and clearly stated throughout the manuals and other paperwork that came with the system..

 

If you need repair, you can send the console directly to Nintendo, where our technicians can either repair your console or transfer your content from your original console to the replacement.

 

Sincerely,

Nintendo of America Inc

 

If I'm reading correctly what Nintendo is saying then the only way to keep any/all VC games if something goes wrong with your system is to return it to Nintendo and let them repair it. If you take it back to the store, you will lose any/all VC downloads you have paid for.

 

This is somewhat upsetting to me because I purchased an extended warranty with my system so that I can take it back to the store anytime within 2yrs for immediate exchange. After going 19 days and 17 days without my Xbox 360 when it failed twice, I decided to purchase the store warranty for the express purpose of not being without a system for a long period of time should something go wrong.

 

I was not aware of Nintendo's policy regarding the recovery of VC games when I purchased my extended warranty as I purchased the warranty & system together (i.e. I didn't open the box and read the manuals in the store before I purchased the warranty). And of course, when I called the store tonight, I was told there were no refunds on the warranty (I'll call back Monday and talk to a manager), which means I may be out either the money for the warranty or the money for VC games.

 

While I don't always agree with the way that Microsoft has handled the Xbox 360, at the very least I know that any game I purchase from Xbox Arcade is mine to play, no matter what console I own at the time. There is no reason Nintendo cannot accomplish the same thing. I shouldn't have to choose between shipping my system to Nintendo for repair or losing my VC purchases.

 

In my opinion this is a very bad policy Nintendo has elected to put in place. And until I'm totally satisfied that I won't lose any of the VC games I purchase and/or am satisfied that Nintendo can handle a speedy turnaround on defective systems, I won't be buying any further VC games.

 

Mendon

Edited by Mendon

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Its not in the documentation anywhere or any screens when you purchase the VC games? I know it was publicized pretty well online.

 

I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. Hopefully you can get your money back for your extended warranty but I doubt it.

Edited by Atariboy

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I never knew about that either. That's a shame and I wonder how many kids will mess up their systems and the parents unknowingly spent a lot of money for them to download games as well.

Even on something as simple as yahoo Games the game licenses are not only stored with my screen name but I also was able tyo download them to my laptop when we got that. I did however lose the progress in the games but the game itself is still there.

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Well the solution is easy, just put the games on your SD card :)

 

Can you save the games to the SD card? If so, then yes, that's the solution :)

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Hmm... I thought games could be re-downloaded for free if they were removed from the Wii (say if other games were to fill up the memory.)

 

What happens if you delete the games? Can you re-download them?

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Well the solution is easy, just put the games on your SD card :)

 

Doesn't work that way. This is Nintendo's form of copy protection, in that they are making sure that you can't download a VC game, copy it to a SD card, and take it over to a buddy's house and install it on their system.

 

Mendon

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Hmm... I thought games could be re-downloaded for free if they were removed from the Wii (say if other games were to fill up the memory.)

 

What happens if you delete the games? Can you re-download them?

 

Yep you can re-download.. as long as its to console that the games were originally downloaded to. Again, Nintendo's copy protection scheme.

 

The problem is... unlike the Xbox 360, when you purchase a VC game that game is tied directly to the console, not to a person. You do not set up any type of account with the Wii, such as name - address - phone - etc to purchase any VC games or to use any of the channels. Everything is tied directly to the console.

 

For example, you buy a Wii and you also buy a Wii Point Card. After you hook up the system and get online, you go to the Wii Shop channel, figure out which VC games you wish to buy, then enter the number from the Wii Point Card you purchased. BANG.. you get your games. No information about you is entered at all into the system.. just your console information is read by Nintendo's servers.

 

What this means is that if you swap out your system (under an extended warranty plan, for example) Nintendo has no way at all of knowing anything about you or what you purchased. They only know that console number XXXXXXXXXX purchased VC games. You no longer have that console so you no longer have those games.

 

The Xbox 360 uses a different method altogether to handle Marketplace purchases. They tie them to an account you set up when you go online with your system AND to the console number. If you swap your 360 out for another system, you do an account recovery and voila, your purchased games are now tied to the new console. Only problem is... you HAVE to be connected to Xbox Live to play the games. But you can get around this by contacting MS Support, who will walk you thru a process to fully recover all your DLC purchases so that they are available on your new system even if you're not connected to Xbox Live (I know.. I went thru this process twice when MS replaced my defective 360's with refurb systems).

 

Again, this is a nasty policy, in my opinion, that Nintendo has set up. In effect, Nintendo is saying only they can repair or replace your system if you want to keep VC games, which makes purchasing an extended warranty worthless unless you are prepared to lose all the money you spent for VC games.

 

Someone is going to get screwed on this policy, find others in the same situation, a class action suit will follow, and Nintendo will find themselves in a world of hurt (very similar to what **MAY** happen over injuries and damage from flying Wii-motes). In the end, it was a human who purchased this content... not a console. You pay money for something, you are entitled to the use of it, and Nintendo needs to understand this.

 

Mendon

Edited by Mendon

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I am very sorry you are going through this but thank you very much for the info and for letting us know about this.

 

I'll also have to let our friends know who work in vid games because I would be willing to bet that not even all of them know. It also does give everyone who may be interested in the system to think about before a final decision on a new system.

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This kinda sounds like what they've done with the DS. If you take a game to another DS, your online settings won't be there. You have to transfer them to it.

 

I wonder if there's some way to do that? Transfer the games to a different Wii?

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This kinda sounds like what they've done with the DS. If you take a game to another DS, your online settings won't be there. You have to transfer them to it.

 

I wonder if there's some way to do that? Transfer the games to a different Wii?

 

In the response from Nintendo they said they could transfer the games, but going along with the copy protection, they probably wouldn't give the consumer the ability to transfer games.

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which makes purchasing an extended warranty worthless unless you are prepared to lose all the money you spent for VC games.

 

Extended warranties from EB or wherever were pointless to begin with IMO. It's the biggest scam going at gaming retailers right now.

The rest of this problem is all theoreticaly "What if..." scenarios, so I don't see much reason to get too upset right now.

Plus, what's the alternative? They can't just start giving out VC games based on what you registered and your word. Who's to say you didn't download 5 games to your Wii, register them, then sold the Wii to on eBay and bought a new one? Nintendo can't just give you your games back, because frankly they don't really know what happened to your original Wii so they need to avoid being scammed as such. You send it to Nintendo, they can fix it right? This is the best way for them to avoid getting ripped, and really if they can remedy the issue, I don't see the problem at all.

If the manufacturer can fix it, you're fine. Even if the warranty has expired, they would still fix it and you might have to drop a bit of cash.

 

And once again the retailer's Extended Warranty turns out to be little more than an expensive detriment.

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Extended warranties from EB or wherever were pointless to begin with IMO. It's the biggest scam going at gaming retailers right now.

 

The rest of this problem is all theoreticaly "What if..." scenarios, so I don't see much reason to get too upset right now.

Plus, what's the alternative? They can't just start giving out VC games based on what you registered and your word. Who's to say you didn't download 5 games to your Wii, register them, then sold the Wii to on eBay and bought a new one? Nintendo can't just give you your games back, because frankly they don't really know what happened to your original Wii so they need to avoid being scammed as such. You send it to Nintendo, they can fix it right? This is the best way for them to avoid getting ripped, and really if they can remedy the issue, I don't see the problem at all.

If the manufacturer can fix it, you're fine. Even if the warranty has expired, they would still fix it and you might have to drop a bit of cash.

 

And once again the retailer's Extended Warranty turns out to be little more than an expensive detriment.

 

I hear what you are saying, Figgler.. I just disagree.

 

Regarding warranties, some are bad, some are good... make sure you know what you are buying. For me, the ability to get an instant replacement of a broke or defective system is the reason I purchased a warranty. I had two bad 360's and lost several weeks of gaming due to the turn-around time it took to get these systems replaced under manufacturers warranty. On the other hand, a good friend of mine got the "Ring of Death" on his 360, took the system to EB and walked back out the door 5min later with a brand new system. No dealing with customer service people on the phone, no waiting for the "coffin" to arrive to ship your unit back, and no waiting for the system to be returned to you. The EB warranty my friend has looks like a good warranty to me.

 

As for Nintendo protecting themselves.... Microsoft has the same exact problem with the Xbox Marketplace and copyright protection. Microsoft developed a policy that is customer friendly AND protects against piracy. There is NO reason that Nintendo cannot do the same thing.

 

Its important for Nintendo to protect themselves against loss of revenue from piracy; I have no problem with that. But its also important for me to protect myself against loss of money thru loss of VC games if I replace my system for ANY reason.

 

(NOTE: I have no idea what Sony's policy is regarding game downloads of the PS3 Store.... could someone post about it, please?)

 

In the end....

you believe extended warranties are a ripoff and thats fine. I believe that some warranties are effective and worth the money and thats fine. We just disagree on this.

 

you believe Nintendo's policy regarding system replacement and VC games is okay and thats fine. I believe its current policy is bad and needs to be changed and thats fine. We just disagree on this.

 

Nintendo has a history of making quality products that last & last and these products can also take a beating. Maybe I'll never have a problem with my Wii system. Maybe I'll never want to replace my Wii system with a Black system or Lime-Green system or a Metroid 3 System. Maybe my Wii system will last years and years and years. Maybe I'll never want an upgraded Wii system that plays DVD's (if they release one in the U.S.) Maybe I've made all these posts for nothing.

 

Time will tell.

 

Mendon

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I just bought some Wii points online via the wii shop channel, and before confirming the order there was a message that wii points are not transferrable to cash, blah, blah, and that games purchased for download are only playable on the system they're downloaded to. I never noticed such a message on the wii points card, but I'm sure it's there in fine print.

 

Not a great policy. I can understand why they do it, and it's not stopping me from buying VC games. But I do think it kind of sucks. It might make me think twice about buying too many VC games (though having save points is really nice). At least it's Nintendo hardware - I've never had a Nintendo system fail (other than replacing a NES 72-pin). *crosses fingers*

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The extended warranty is really a legal scam for most. You don't need one for a $30 DVD player (no matter how pushy the salesperson), you probably don't need one for a $1,000 HDTV since it contains no moving part and for most game consoles. If they survive the warranty, they will last quite a long time with proper care. ANd by the time the devices do break down, it's usually better to get a newer version than to get the older version fixed.

 

You can live without the extended warranties on video game consoles if you don't have little kids that can break them.

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The extended warranty is really a legal scam for most. You don't need one for a $30 DVD player (no matter how pushy the salesperson), you probably don't need one for a $1,000 HDTV since it contains no moving part and for most game consoles. If they survive the warranty, they will last quite a long time with proper care. ANd by the time the devices do break down, it's usually better to get a newer version than to get the older version fixed.

 

You can live without the extended warranties on video game consoles if you don't have little kids that can break them.

 

Disagree with you totally on the HD TV. We bought our 52" Sony Rear Projection HD TV about 16mos ago. Paid approx. $1,300 for it (plus tax) and it came with a 1 yr warranty. We paid $88 for a 3yr extended warranty.

 

Well, what do you know.... 14mos after purchase the screen flashed BRIGHT and the TV went off and wouldn't come back on. Called up Best Buy and they came out in two days. The had to replace the color guns (one went and it took all three before the internal surge kicked in). Ordered the parts and 6 days later our TV was back up and running. Total cost to us: $0 (except $88 warranty). Without warranty: $1,014 (which included parts, labor, and service call)!!!

 

Extended warranties CAN be worth it, depending on the initial cost of the item & history. I'll purchase one for my cars, I'll purchase one for expensive appliances, and I'll **maybe** purchase one for a video game system, especially if the gaming system is a new & untested system.

 

Side Notes:

I may be sending in my 360 for the 3rd time as I'm getting a lot of freezes lately... standard warranty is 90 days and without an extended warranty MS charges $140 (plus shipping) for each repair.

 

Funny thing about our TV repair.. the repair guy said if the repair cost would have been $86 more (for a total of $1,100) that Best Buy wouldn't have repaired the TV but given me a new one. I begged the guy to find $86 more wrong with the TV but he just laughed and said he wished he could.

 

Mendon

Edited by Mendon

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Extended warranties are like insurance. 90% of the people who buy them won't need them. That's how the retailers make so much money with it and why they're so pushy about getting you to buy one.

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Extended warranties are like insurance. 90% of the people who buy them won't need them. That's how the retailers make so much money with it and why they're so pushy about getting you to buy one.

 

Agree 100%

 

And that's why every year I ask my auto insurance agent "Hey, I've had insurance with you for over 30yrs and never filed a claim. Don't I get a free year or something for that??? Don't I get a rebate??? Don't I get something other than a damn sticker to put on the car bumper that says 30 Year Gold Member????" LOL...

 

 

Anyway, I'd rather stay on topic as my complaint remains that the policy Nintendo has elected to put into place is customer unfriendly and doesn't take into consideration someone buying an extended warranty, someone wanting to buy another system (a Lime Green or a Metroid Collector's Edition or something like that), or someone wanting to buy an upgraded DVD-playing system (should they release one). If you buy VC games, you are tied to your original system forever unless you send it to Nintendo for repair and THEY exchange it & transfer your VC games.

 

Microsoft has solved this problem and Nintendo could too. Guess there aren't enough people concerned about it or think the policy is a problem other than me.

 

So I make my fight solo.. no more VC games until the policy has changed. I do not like this VC policy and will not lose a bunch of money on them if I ever swap out my original console for whatever reason.

 

Worse part of all this is that VC games were a BIG part of my decision to buy a Wii. Without those, the Wii loses alot of its attraction for me and I may decide to just dump it all on eBay. If I do decide to sell, then I'll either stick with my 360 or try a PS3 (will have to see what their policy is regarding DLC's and swapping systems).

 

Mendon

Edited by Mendon

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