On Friday, we brought you the story of Jon, a Nintendo fan who spent $400 downloading old games to his Wii, but, through a mistake of his own and due to Nintendo's unusually strict digital-downloads policy, found himself with access to none of those games.
The lesson: a Nintendo machine isn't like an iPhone; your content is locked to the username that is locked to your console (though it seems Nintendo customer service can get around this).
After that story ran, I heard from another Nintendo fan. This one is named Ryan, and he had a very different experience. He'd downloaded $570 worth of games to his Wii. He ran into trouble transferring them to his Wii U. Unlike Jon, he didn't run afoul of Nintendo's strict policies—he didn't trade a broken Wii U in for a new one and lose his licenses to his games in the process. Instead, he called Nintendo customer service when his Wii U wouldn't play nice with his Wii. He asked customer service to help him with the transfer.
Several frustrating weeks passed.
But, as chronicled on his blog, Nintendo finally came through:
Basically, Nintendo remotely deleted the licences for my Virtual Console and WiiWare purchases remotely from my Wii system, and credited my Wii shop on the Wii U with 57000 points ($570, the value of my Wii Virtual Console/Wiiware library). Then they gave me a bonus $50 to my Wii U account for "the inconvenience."
So we still have a Nintendo that can keep a record of the games you downloaded and registered but might not give you access to them again if you don't follow their recommended steps. But we also have a Nintendo that had mercy on Ryan and even threw in some extra for his troubles.
Jon's Nintendo and Ryan's Nintendo... same company.
Nintendo Customer Service Rules [Nintendo Fun Club Podcast site]