Downloaded Wii U Software Can’t Be Saved To SD Card

Nintendo Japan has confirmed via its official website that downloaded Wii U software can not be saved to the SD card. If you’re looking to save software on something other than an SD card you will either need to use your limited Wii U internal storage space, or, invest in an external hard drive.

Downloaded software can only be played on the Wii U it was originally bought from. Meaning if you download a game to an external HDD and try to use that HDD on another Wii U, it won’t work. Downloaded software is saved to the internal memory or what’s in the USB slot. Downloaded software can’t be saved to the SD card.

219 thoughts on “Downloaded Wii U Software Can’t Be Saved To SD Card”

    1. Yeah, but what if your Wii U breaks or is stolen? Bye, bye all those games you purchased…. It really makes no sense.

      Microsoft, Apple, Droid, Sony, Steam, other gaming networks all have systems where you can redownload games you purchased on another system. I don’t see why it is so hard for NIntendo to implement this.

      I lost sooooo much stuff from my original Wii because of that. Nintendo wouldn’t even offer me a refund or voucher to redownload anything I purchased, even though it’s all right there on my Club Nintendo account. Not like I’m lying about buying it.

      Like

          1. Some people report that their Wii suffers from contaminated lens and is unable to read dual-layered disks. Other than that, it’s not really common for a Wii to be really broken since it can still technically work.

            Like

              1. Hopefully, never happened to me. This is the first time someone reports Wii issues to me, though. It’s impressive how Nintendo hardware has been tough since NES.

                Like

      1. It most likely works on accounts like they announced friend codes were problematic…and you can always re downloaded it on the account you purchased it on..it didn’t say you couldn’t do that. we will see soon enough.

        Like

        1. Hopefully, but the quote said,

          “Downloaded software can only be played on the Wii U it was originally bought from. ”

          Which means, if my original Wii U is gone… Then what?

          I’m hoping you’re right, along with some others in the comments. I want a system where I can redownload the games just like other companies offer. But Nintendo has screwed us over in the past in that regard and so far we haven’t had any confirmation of a provision like that.

          Like

        2. Actually, that’s not the case. I just went through it with my 3DS, I have all of the same account info, including my Club Nintendo account, registered on my new 3DS. I posed the exact same scenario to them and they said that your downloaded materials are system specific. The only way to recover it is to have the fix it. They could even look up my original purchases, but I can’t have them. They’re gone forever. I would have to buy them all over again. It makes me think twice about buying any more digital content from Nintendo. I was really disappointed. I cancelled my WiiU presell. I really have to think about this, before I get into a whole other system with them. It saddens me because I have had all of their systems, until now.

          Like

          1. Look at one of my other posts. You can redownload digital purchases as they’re tied to your account and, not to mention, as Nintendo said, other Nintendo devices (3DS) will have their online stuff, such as Miiverse, updated.

            Like

            1. I have already been in contact with Nintendo twice and they said I can’t. They said that the store is system specific and the only way to get the content from my old system is to manually transfer them system to system. I already gave it away to a “Make-A-Wish” type operation, so I don’t have it anymore. They could see all of the content I had purchased in their records, but said there was nothing else I could do. Makes me really hesitant for future purchases.

              Like

              1. LOL what?

                GM: Can you download a game right away when you see it on your Miiverse? Will you still have physical games too then?
                Cindy: Yes. What we said is that every game for the Wii U, and this is true for the Nintendo 3DS too, will be available in both packaged as well as digital. It’s really about choice. What I remember as a parent, I prefer the download because I won’t lose the disk. But some people thrive on [having the physical game], to each his own.
                GM: Is there a way you can play your games on another Nintendo, for example if I go to my parents’ house and want to play on their console?
                Cindy: You’ll have an account system so you’ll be able to access your account any Wii U.

                http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2012/06/nintendo-wii-u-e3/

                Like

      2. thats bullshit! when i send my wii and dsi to nintendo not only did they fix my wii and dsi for free and not under warranty but they also had all my purchases and and some extra games installed on my sd so your claim is false!. nintendo care about it’s customer besides sony and microsoft with the invasion of privacy with microsoft and sony i think nintendo is the best thing for gaming today.

        Like

      3. From what I remember, won’t your save data and digital purchases be tied to your account? Hell, the 3DS’s account system has your digital downloads saved to your account so you can redownload so I don’t know what your talking about. It’s with the Wii that this is actually an issue.

        Like

        1. Damn it, I meant to say that eventually the 3DS’s account system will have your digital downloads saved to your console so you can redownload. Sorry about that. But I do remember Nintendo saying your sava data and digital purchases will be tied to your account.

          Like

        2. Unfortunately, you can’t do that with the 3DS. You can redownload items to the same 3DS or transfer items if you have two 3DS’ at one time.

          But redownload on a new 3DS itself, unless this is something completely new I missed out on, you can’t do that either.

          Like

              1. That’s good to hear. Ah well, here’s to hoping your downloads are tied to your online accounts. I’d be shocked if they weren’t simply because your own save data is tied to your account.

                Like

                    1. Because you did a system transfer, that is why you were able to re-download on your new system. If you were to buy another 3DS but without doing a system transfer then you wouldn’t be able to re-download anything even if you link the new system with your e-shop account. It’s only possible with a system transfer, which is limited to 5 times. On top of that all your stuff gets wiped from your old 3DS.

                      Like

      4. Nintendo will let you transfer everything to a new system if it gets stolen, you just have to send them a police report. and if it’s broken, you send it to them for repair…just saying

        Like

      1. The 32 GB internal memory is flash (not a HDD), so there’s no “replacing” it per se. You can attach a larger HDD to the system though as you mentioned. Seems to be the only other way until they release an upgraded system with more memory.

        Like

    2. I don’t think the title is correct. What they probably meant was that you can’t use your games, that are saved on an external device, on other consoles than the one you purchased it on.
      It’s pretty much the same system as the Wii shop channel games + SD card.

      However, if you have a game saved on a SD card / USB device, and your friend purchased the same game, that file should technically playable on your friend’s Wii U (Wii aswell).

      I haven’t tested it on the Wii though.

      Like

    1. How? You can buy a massive hdd, for much cheaper then they would sell it for!

      This is really good on Nintendos behalf. Much more convenient then Sony and much cheaper than MS.

      Like

  1. Wow, Nintendo. Wow…..

    “Downloaded software can only be played on the Wii U it was originally bought from. ”

    It sounds like we’re going to have the same problem we had with the Wii. If it gets stolen or breaks. You’re out of luck. -.-

    Guess who’s not buying stuff off of the Wii U eShop?

    Like

      1. I think that’s not what he means. If he had an external HDD and his Wii U breaks or gets stolen, you can’t use your HDD on another Wii U considering the User Account is linked on only one system (not the Nintendo Network ID).

        However, purchases made in the eShop are linked and managed by your Nintendo Network ID (each user account can have this), so you don’t actually have to worry about losing everything since you can redownload everything from your NNID.

        Like

        1. Unfortunately, this has not been confirmed. I’m hoping that is the case, but for now, they’re only saying you can only play games on the system you bought it on originally, as the quote above says,

          “Downloaded software can only be played on the Wii U it was originally bought from. “

          Like

          1. Hmm, you’re probably right on that one, but I thought logging in with your NNID (since you need a password) would allow you to play on another Wii U. I mean, just popping in the HDD and get an error would be pretty normal, so you’d need to login with your NNID and make it work. Since the quotes are just translated, we might actually need a direct confirmation from Nintendo, I guess. x.x

            Like

      2. External HD break so easily, it’ll be dangling at the back of the Wii U, so it has a more risk, one day it’ll stop working and you’ll start crying.

        Like

    1. Kind of the point of unified accounts- so that you can log in and re-download it if you get a replacement console. Presumably you first just have to notify Nintendo that it has been stolen or whatever.

      Like

      1. HOPEFULLY that is what will happen with the Wii U. They don’t allow that with the 3DS and didn’t allow it with the Wii. It really pissed me off when my original Wii was gone. All my games, hundreds of dollars of downloads, couldn’t get back.

        But so far, I haven’t heard anything with confirmation of that provision on the Wii U.

        Like

        1. Um, they do allow that with the 3DS since it utilises Nintendo Network connection (and ID soon). My SD card acted up once which made me lose all my data, but I was able to redownload everything from the eShop.

          Like

            1. As of now, I don’t think so, but when Nintendo Network ID becomes universal (according to Iwata’s User Accounts walkthrough), you can probably login with your NNID and redownload everything.

              Like

            2. My first 3DS was stolen and I called Nintendo and provided them with the police report and they transfered my Ambassador games and eShop credit to my new 3DS.

              Like

              1. My post was in response to the following:

                re: Um, they do allow that with the 3DS since it utilises Nintendo Network connection (and ID soon). My SD card acted up once which made me lose all my data, but I was able to redownload everything from the eShop.

                What I was trying to say is that you cannot re-download digital purchased games unless it is on the original 3DS which it was bought on, except for when you do a system transfer(Limit 5 times) from one 3DS to a new one and then you can re-download to the new one. And the old one got wiped then.

                Point being you lose your digital purchases if your system breaks, unless you have it repaired.

                Like

        2. right now Wii, Wii U and 3DS are all the same, every digital download is tied to the system and there is no unified account with Nintendo. I’m still hoping that they will implement it.

          Like

      2. That’s actually annoying and very inconvenient.
        If anyone owns 2 or more consoles (for whatever reason), they should have the freedom to log in and out of each one at any given time to share that content amongst them. I can understand if it’s similar to Xbox Live where, logging in to another console will only grant permission to that software as long as the account ID is signed-in.
        But if it’s locked down by the hardware, or serial number or whatever, and it’s strictly ONLY available to the original console where it was purchased (i.e. what the Wii is like) that would be a pretty pathetic move.
        If I’m traveling to my holiday house for example, easier to just take a hard drive with me every trip as opposed to disconnecting/packing/unpacking/reconnecting the console/accessories/cables blah blah blah.

        Like

        1. I agree, but it’s not the case. I just went through this. I have multiple PSPs and use them for different uses, but I can load whatever I buy on the PSN on all three. Nintendo told me I can’t do that. It really makes me think harder anout my Nintendo purchases, unfortunately.

          Like

    2. But we have to consider that we’ll have Nintendo personal accounts from now on, in which all our purchases and activity log will be tied to. Maybe in that way you can recover your data.

      Like

      1. I hope so. I really do.

        That was a major pitfall of the Wii console. Lost so much because of that, even though I linked my Wii to my Club Nintendo account and all my purchases were logged, they still wouldn’t let me redownload.

        Like

        1. Fact. This issue regarding the digital management in Wii U must be clarified as soon as possible. Moreover, today we don’t know yet whether we’ll can download for free the digital versions of 3DS titles that we have previously purchased physically, like Mario 3D Land, OoT, Star Fox 64 and so on.

          Like

            1. True, today we really cannot. But we could do eventually, at no expense, since we’ve already have the physical media. That’s my point, it really depends on Nintendo.

              Like

        2. The 3DS eshop Memorizes all your downloads and lets youi re-download at will. Surely the wiiu can too.

          Why the fuck does the wiiu even have an SD card slot then ? I like on 360 you can slam your hard drive onto your m8s 360 and you have all your data. This is a proper stupid and unnecesary move by the Big N.

          Like

          1. The 3DS will let you redownload on the same system you purchased the items on but not a new 3DS. Correct me if I’m wrong though.

            I’m sure the Wii U will allow that as well, but will they let me do that on another system? Let’s say someone wants to upgrade from the standard to deluxe Wii U, will they be able to download the items they bought there?

            Or the inevitable Wii U 2.0 with a larger memory capacity in 2013/2014. Will we be able to redownload those titles? If it breaks, gets stolen, etc.

            That’s all I want to know….

            Like

            1. I would not worry! I am sure Nintendo have thought about all this stuff. That’s what they do before they release new hardware.

              It may all boil down to , if your system breaks you have to have that system repaired by Nintendo to Retreive (how the fuck do you spell re-trieve?)
              your data.

              I Lpve being able to slap my 360 hard drive on friends and family’s 360 . Why can’t we do ths with out Wiiu HDD’s ? :(.

              Not a deal breaker by any means any of it. But ”annoying”

              Like

                1. This situation is just begging to blown out of proportion by trolls.

                  I bet there will be an IGN article titled ”you may want to rethink your purchase” . I fucking hate it when IGN write stupid articles like that.

                  Like

            1. Why exactly does it support 32GB SD cards ??? I could fit 5-6 full size games on that (small ones) or 2 big ones , or a load of E-shop games.

              Seems to me there is no point in having the SD card slot unless using for pointless old Wii stuff :S.

              Maybe you can access the wii shop channel still on the wiiu and download VC games and store them on the SD card ????

              No problem for me, I’m buying a big hard drive and buying physicall copies.

              Like

      1. Considering that both the next xBox and PlayStation are already rumoured to allow one copy of a game per console, it’s really not much different.

        At least with the WiiU, you can buy a cheap second hand game to play on it, or you can have your friends bring over their copy of a game to try it out. You’re shit out of luck if you want to do either of these on the Orbis or ‘720’

        Like

        1. Rumors? bro were like a long ways away of ps4 and 720 . Stop defending Nintendo , this is a very stupid move on their part, steam,ps3, 360 lets you redownload games if you break your console, or pc, as long as you have your account. Why cant Nintendo do this!!!!!!!

          Like

    1. You can download games from the wiiU eShop. But you cant move the actual game data to an SD card to save hard disk space. You can put game data on a usb device if you have one plugged in!

      Like

      1. @GamerGuy1975 and @TheEighthByte

        But now we have 64 Gb class 10 SD cards, 8-fold larger than the internal memory of standard Wii U. My point is how important in terms of performance is the balance between capacity vs. speed. Well, just thinking aimlessly…

        Like

    1. yes, they are… but if you can use an external HD, you can use a USB flash drive if you’re concerned about speed. HDs are fast enough IMO, and much cheaper so I have no problem with those.

      Like

      1. I checked now that class 10 SD cards speed is up to 45MB/s read/write. In this sense, an external HD using USB 2.0 should be faster, indeed. Anyway, does anyone know if Wii U USB ports will be 2.0 or 3.0?

        Like

    1. Would it bother you if your Wii U broke and you wouldn’t be able to play your downloaded games that are on your external HD on your next Wii U ?

      Like

      1. That’s a really good point. Maybe you have to just sought that out through Nintendo. Im sure they have their ways. Once you sign into the E-shop on your new wiiu , you can RE download all of your games. like you can on 3ds.

        Like

        1. You can only re-download your digital stuff on the 3DS that you purchased it on. If your 3DS breaks and you buy a new one then Nintendo will not let you re-download your games. It is tied to your system and not to your account. You would have to get your broken 3DS fixed to keep using your digital purchases.

          Like

    1. ^this. I’m sure they will implement efficient system transfer features down the line, people are already panicking over a single quote -__-

      Like

  2. Not really a big problem. As I’ve said before having an external hard drive will be imperative for those who plan to do a lot of downloading. I’m going to be sticking with physical copies, so it won’t affect me much. Leave luck to heaven.

    Like

    1. are you a fucking idiot? if your wiiU breaks… you LOSE all YOUR GAMES and u cant transfer ur games to a diff console

      but ofc you would still defend nintendo… fanboy faggot

      Like

      1. Well he’s planning on continuing buying physical copies of retail games so it’s not a problem for him. So if his Wii U breaks, *knocks on wood* he can get it repared/ buy a new one and continue playing his games.

        but ofc you would still attack Nintendo… trolling faggot

        Like

  3. i throught this would be common sense why would you pay like 30 quid for 32gb SD when you can buy a 500gb for 40 to 50. USE COMMON SENSE PEOPLE

    Like

    1. Dumb idiot, sd cards are generally alot faster then external hdds, and nintendo limited it to usb 2.0 hdds about 10-15 times slower then usb 3.0….

      Like

  4. I was kind of hoping to stick a 32GB SD card in my Wii U, double its memory, and hide it under the flap so nothing was sticking out- but it’s not really a big deal. I can get a cheap HDD in a few months.

    Like

  5. Speaking of SD cards, I’m wondering if I will be able to copy save data from an SD card instead of doing the full Wii transfer. I only want to copy over some retail game data like you can between two Wii’s.

    Like

    1. I would like to know too- mainly because I’m scared of it trying to move over the Homebrew channel and bricking my shiny new Wii U. It sounds like it goes into a full-on Wii mode, so I would guess that you can- just no Monster Hunter or Brawl transfers.

      Like

      1. Yeah, but tell that to the indie devs and publishers who want to release digital download titles on the system only; It can make them apprehensive, especially considering Nintendo’s shaky history with that.

        Like

        1. LOL, Simply G. Another very good observation – you’ve been finding endless problems concerning the Wii U downloadable data indeed. But wouldn’t it be better if you relax a bit, drink some wine and let it go for a while? Calm down… :)

          Like

          1. I’m calm. As you said, they’re just observations.

            I’m still getting the system, but Nintendo should handle their business better. As a consumer, I want to know my investments will have some sort of guarantees.

            Like

                1. People talk about Microsoft and Sony’s problems all the time. Do a quick google search and you’ll find 1000000000 articles on their negatives, especially Sony.

                  But this is a Nintendo centered site, so of course we’re going to be discussing Nintendo mostly here.

                  Like

    1. I’m too, i prefer my disk with cases, i love my gc games, and i will love(someday) my WiiU games. I just hope, they don’t keep cutting pages from manuals to save a few bucks. I want to stay on my bed and read how the game works. Old-school is better for me, you attach to your games and really care about your investment.
      (sorry for my english)

      Like

      1. Dont worry for your english .. I speak french … I live in Quebec/Canada … and your english is better then mine. I hope to see everybody on this site on my Miiverse someday … except Aeolus.

        Like

        1. Sorry, but Aeolus is a closet hardcore nintendo fan, which is why he can’t stay off this site.

          He’s going to buy a WiiU, just so he can Troll the Miiverse!

          Like

          1. “Sorry, but Aeolus is a closet hardcore nintendo fan, which is why he can’t stay off this site.”
            LOL soo true, he show his dedication to Nintendo by hating on them, thats how hardcore he is…
            REAL TALK !!!

            Like

      1. Bullsh*t, Nintendo should take example of steam….. Millions of pc gamers could have pirated pc games on the internet, but chose to go with steam, they make you feel that you own and bought the game, even if your pc fails on you. You can redownload everything as long as you remember your account information. Steam puts alot of trust into their consumers, why not nintendo?

        Like

        1. Nintendo is just as vulnerable to pirating as steam; proof exists through illegal rom websites, i.e., Nintendo shouldn’t trust people with unprotected roms as it would “promote” piracy. Also, Nintendo may possibly allow you to use your game data on another Wii U after a system failure; you can’t be capable of using your data on any random Wii U, it would be easy to give your friend an illegal copy of the game. ;)

          Like

                1. Definitely, it will give you a second chance to buy the game if it has sold out on retail; that is optimistic. I’ll be downloading most of my games to my 500 gb external harddrive anyway (so it’s all in one place and I have instant access to any future titles).

                  Like

                    1. That seems logical, the external hard drive is essential for the titles you can’t find at retail since they are sold out. Also, the SD card is just right for indy games as is the large hard drive for full sized products; it is proportioned correctly for the amount of games you will wish to purchase.

                      Like

          1. Albertfilsaime: Have you ever tried steam in your life? You just ignored my entire arguement… Steam offers a service better then piracy, basically steam is saying you could get this and that, if you buy our game legally. All Im saying Nintendo should follow steam’s buisness model, obviously you have not tried steam in your life.

            Like

            1. I’ve bought games through steam, which is really quite convenient and painless; portal 2, Napoleon: Total War. I understand steam’s good buisness model which may be something Nintendo should follow, I agree with you.

              Like

    1. This is correct. But would someone please for the love of god , explain what use SD cards are going to have on the wiiu ???????? Just for photos and that one off wii to wiiu transfer ??? that’s a waste of a fucking SD card reader.

      Someone enlighten be before a headache ensues.

      Like

  6. I’ll be using a 2TB external HD with the WiiU so that’s no problem to me but… why the heck are games console locked?, don’t we have accounts now?, it’s ridiculus, the PSN system is much, MUCH better.

    Like

    1. It’s just that the SD card slot is for use with Wii games, not Wii U games. I’m sure if you bought a USB card reader, you could plug that into the Wii U and it would not be able to differentiate between that and a usb hard drive.

      Like

  7. Sounds to me like Nintendo f***ed up AGAIN! It’s bad enough that I’ll NEVER trust downloading another game as long as I live because of my original Wii going out and I lost all of those VC and WiiWare games I once had, but Nintendo is once again screwing things up and causing it to be IMPOSSIBLE to get your games back if your Wii U ever goes out. NO WAY AM I EVER GONNA DOWNLOAD ANOTHER GAME AGAIN This is why I hate people for supporting the stupid e-shop etc. Downloaded games sucks more than any porn star ever could.

    Like

    1. I know it sucks. Hope Nintendo will change their policy of having our digital games belong to our system instead of the people who buy them.

      Like

    2. Just use an external hard drive.. I don’t see why not… They are less riskier and have a bigger storage potential. With an external hard drive, all your points are invalid. Use your brain. Why on earth would you even use an SD card if you have the choice of using a hard drive? eh?

      Like

      1. You do not know what you are talking about. It should be as easy as that but it is not. read through this thread and you might understand. Tired of repeating myself and explaining.

        Like

  8. What the fuck is the SD slot good for then?! I saved all my Wiiware and Virtual Console games to my SD card, and I have over 85 games on that SD card!

    Like

    1. The SD card is for Wiiware and VC games, obviously. But not for Wii U eshop games. The usb slot would be for connecting a harddrive to store Wii U eshop games.

      Like

  9. i was going to buy a 1TB external HDD any way but won’t have to bother till Jan/feb or maybe a bit later. i am just thankful it not like my PS3 you are stuck with the internal HDD. which i know people have replaced with bigger but i just would not be confident to do it my self.

    Like

      1. Yeah the TOP OF THE LINE cards. Not everyone buys an expensive SD card. In order to prevent problems Nintendo leaves the feature unused and cheap HDDs are faster and have more space than cheap SDs.

        P.S. Nothing can keep up with an SSD! ^^

        Like

  10. Wait, downloaded software can’t be saved on an SD card, but they didn’t say you couldn’t move and transfer files and whatnot from the Wii. SD card isn’t useless for the Wii U at all then.

    Like

  11. Probably the SD card slot is only used when you’re in Wii mode. So it would work for Wiiware and VC games from the Wii. And the USB slot is for Wii U eshop games.

    People are getting bent out of shape over a misunderstanding.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s