Apr 23rd, 2013 publishUpdated   Jul 18th, 2013, 9:46 am

With E3 only a short time away, an exciting system update for Wii U dropping soon and Virtual Console due in the next couple of days, the rumour mills are firing on all cylinders around what Nintendo has in store for its online offerings.

Long-time rumour-monger Emily Rogers continues to do her part, today delivering the hint-filled tweet “there may come a time in the future when owning both a Wii U and 3DS will become beneficial”, and then later “Nintendo looking at possibly to bring back gifting, do a feature where some of your Wii U VC games can be playable on 3DS, and vice versa”.

It’s important to note that Rogers isn’t always 100% right, but she obviously has sources and so the hints should be treated as semi-authoritative.

So could Nintendo really have something fresh and connectivity-related in store for us? Putting aside the crazier possibilities like that rumour from a few months ago that said the 3DS was going to be able to control Wii U like a gamepad, there are still plenty of really interesting, really possible features Nintendo could institute in their online systems beyond what’s already been announced.

Cross-platform play, as hinted at by Rogers, would be a popular one. Sony’s made good use of this feature, where purchasing certain games on PS3 automatically adds them to the ‘download’ list in the store app on your Vita and vice versa. It’s easy to see how with a software update for both systems you could transfer purchases for games available on both, namely Virtual Console titles, although there’s a problem when it comes to the current state of Nintendo’s account management.

Ps3 and Vita of course already have unified PSN IDs, but Nintendo has separate ID systems for both Wii U and 3DS, each locked to the system and non-transferable. If Nintendo announces Nintendo Network for 3DS sometime soon the problem could be resolved, although there are other ways around it.

What if, for example, purchasing a compatible VC game on Wii U gave you an option to ‘share’ your purchase with a 3DS, at which point you connected your handheld wirelessly to your console and downloaded it that way? Or connected them both online system transfer style. It would work fine also in reverse. The only issue that remains is regarding save states and suspend game data, which doesn’t seem like it could sync smoothly between systems without a unified ID and cloud storage.

The other feature mention by Rogers is gifting. Could we see a feature whereby you purchase and pay for a certain title on your Wii U and then choose to transfer your purchase to a friend? The feature was implemented just fine on the original Wii, so it seems like a good chance. The implementation could be very simple too: you purchase the software, select a friend from your list and he or she gets a notification that the game’s available for them in the shop.

So what other incremental updates could be in the works for the Wii U’s online?


Well what about cloud storage? Remember the SD card menu on the Wii, how each game would take a few seconds to transfer to system memory before you could play it? There’s no reason a similar system couldn’t be put in place for Wii U VC games but with games left in the cloud instead of on an SD card.

We know Nintendo plans to make user accounts transferable and mobile in the future, so imagine being able to put your account on a USB stick (or on the Wii remote’s long-forgotten internal storage), take it to a friend’s house and have all your purchased VC games there good to go. Plus a Lakitu-themed transfer animation would be adorable! There would be an issue with accessing your games if you happened to be offline of course, and there wouldn’t be any huge benefit to the user assuming they had heaps of storage space. But that brings me to my next piece of speculation:

Virtual Console subscription. This one might seem a little less reasonable as monthly subscription fees are kind of unlike Nintendo, but then they’re bringing  one in for their new Flipnotes on 3DS, so who knows! Basically you would pay a monthly or yearly subscription and get access to all the released VC console games right there in your cloud storage. Of course if you’re paying good money you want good games, so Nintendo would have to make a guarantee or a publish a release schedule so we can make sure we won’t be stuck playing King of Fighters three months in a row.

Finally, Wii U folders. I know that’s hardly an online feature but all these downloadable and Virtual Console games need to go somewhere. Games spread out randomly across eight menu screens will not be fun.

What online features would you like to see on Wii U? Are you excited for the possibility of gifting digital games or playing the same games across Wii U and 3DS? Do you have something else in mind you think may be around the corner?

local_offer    3DS  Nintendo  virtual console  wii u  
  • Noel Canales

    ” an exciting system update for Wii U dropping soon ” What the hell are you talking about. you said the update was yesterday but its today and still no update. What is this a Rumor website???

    • I have read on miiverse that some official said that the update is coming out later this week…….

      • Noel Canales

        I going to just shut my mouth and wait for the update to come whenever it actually comes. going to have to get my info from a more reliable site like IGN.

        • Andrew Forza

          agreed i read HERE that it would be out by now for sure, I kept checking my wii u for nothing today, more keen for the VC update but at least i could have looked forward to it knowing the first update was out of the way.

      • Dan Jacobson

        it’s on wednesday. iwata said so in nintendo direct in europe.

    • The image mentioned yesterday on Wii U Daily, to be fair, never said anything about the update being on Monday, just the reveal of games coming out on the Wii U VC.

      Just another case of looking too deeply into the matter.

      • The title was “Wii U Update Confirmed for Today”

        There was no misunderstanding that.

        • You obviously didn’t look on the Nintendo or the Wii U Facebook page then. No where did it say the update was set for Monday.

          • Jon

            the Nintendo website HAD excitebike listed as releasing on April 23rd meaning today and with the VC coming a day after the update, you can see why people and news sites were predicting the update to be yesterday. Now excitebike is not even on the website site, the picture is there but it is a broken link.

          • I wasn’t talking about their page, I was talking about Wiiudaily’s title.

          • I never mentioned anything about the title, only the image.

          • The only Image that was posted on Wiiudaily was of an update and a pic of ice climers that said “2 days.” The original poster was pointing out that the article said the update was that day, I pointed out that it made sense based on the info given.

        • Nintendo said this week. This site and other said it was confirmed for yesterday. I think they mistakenly took that the maintenance updates Nintendo was doing was confirmed. So Nintendo updated their side and I am sure the end user update will be rolling out soon.

          Besides doesn’t new digital content come out on Thursdays for the Wii U? So updates starting today through tomorrow and then new VC games on Thursday?

        • Jonathan Baker

          This is literally the most amateurish Wii U news site on the internet. I do not know why this comes up as #1 in Google searches. I just started visiting NintendoLife and the quality & quantity of articles is much higher. NintendoEverything is decent too.

          • Misfit410

            This site is fine, Nintendolife is great, but it’s easier to have more articles when you also have 3DS which is thriving in your mix of criteria.

          • bizzy gie

            Nintendolife.com keeps their Wii U, 3DS, and other consoles separate. The Wii U part of the site alone has more frequently uploaded articles than this dedicated Wii U site.

        • Misfit410

          In all fairness, the official Nintendo WiiU pages of Facebook and Twitter made the 2 Day image, since we have been told the update would be one day before the Virtual Console Launch, it seemed a sure thing to everyone who saw it, I’m imagining Nintendo meant two days until we announce it officially, which is lame on Nintendos part.

        • Game Master

          ya, that was very miss leading. If this happens again, I will stop coming to this site

      • Jon

        “Wii U update confirmed for today; Virtual Console tomorrow”

        that…. looks like them saying the update was Monday

        • Wii U Daily saying that, not Nintendo.

          • Jon

            Nintendo said yesterday that Excitebike was being released on April 23rd. Excitebike is a VC game which would indicate the update was coming out yesterday as it was stated that the VC will come out the day after the update. Now the game is completely off their website.

          • You already mentioned that.

            It doesn’t change the fact that there was no official announcement from Nintendo saying so.

          • Jon

            you’d think that them posting a release date would mean something


      They made a mistake. Build a bridge and get over it.

    • brian murphy

      updates usually happen on a thursday on wii U

    • Game Master

      I’m starting to think it is.

    • javiernegrete31

      I just updated my Wii U, its now LIVE!

  • Nobody

    I just want Nintendo to drop the console locked downloads.

    • Tingles

      So basically you’re saying that you want Nintendo and the third party publishers to lose money just because you want to be able to share an entire $60 game with a friend? Yeah or how about you and all your bum friends get a freaking job.

      • Nobody

        No, I just don’t want to deal with some weird problem and then not being able to transfer my games to a new console. Just make it locked on an ID, don’t lock the ID on the console and allow the customer within reasonable limits transfer their data.

        And if it was about piracy, I wouldn’t need to worry about that, I would just wait for the Wii U to get hacked like the Wii did.

        • david jarman

          Wow, really? Thanks for caring about the company. So you must be one of the many jack-offs online playing with hacked lobbies cause they purchased them.

          • Nobody

            Let’s be reasonable, the company wants my money and other people’s money as well. I talk to Nintendo with my wallet. I’ll happily buy Nintendo’s games and other companies on the Wii U but if they want me to buy old games through VC, they are going to change things up so they get my money.

      • Fred

        No I’m saying that if I could transfer my downloaded games between my Wii U and my 2 3DS systems, then I’d be willing to download a lot more games both Virtual Console and full retail

  • Re4wii2008

    I just wounder when Miiverse comes to 3ds if you can log in your Wii U accounts Miiverse Profile and this will allow you to cross download VC games! some one on Miiverse game me the Idea!

    • I would hope that they plan to just bring the whole Nintendo ID thing to 3DS, that way you could link your Wii U with your 3DS and access Miiverse, Virtual Console and friends etc on both.

      • Re4wii2008

        yeah your right, i hope it gets rid of the 3ds friend cards and codes because I just can’t stand them and change it to how the Wii U does online gaming!

  • Scott McAllister

    Wouldn’t it be cool if the update gave the Wii U capabilities to play blu-ray. That might increase interest …

    • That would certainly increase interest! But I think they would actually need a hardware update for that. The laser lens in the Wii U probably couldn’t read a blu-ray disc even if they updated the software.

      • Nobody

        No, just a firmware update. They just disable movie playback on discs because playing a movie wears out the drive faster than a game. People have hacked Wiis and made them play DVDs.

        • My understanding was the Wii U disc system was wholly proprietary and just based on blu-ray. I don’t actually know what it is technically though so if you guys say it could be done I believe you. Seems like a lot of hassle when you could get a stand-alone player for the price of a game and save your Wii U the wear and tear though.

          • Nobody

            I would agree, but most standalone BD players are trash if you pay below 100 bucks. I would just get a PS3/4 at that point.

            But if Nintendo did what I think they did, then BD playback on the Wii U is a possibility.

          • Cerus98

            I have a Sony BR standalone in my bedroom. It works great, has apps, wifi etc and was 80$.

          • Nobody

            Then maybe it was just the brand I saw. A relative got a BD player from Toshiba, and it was trash. Pure trash. Maybe Sony’s BD players that aren’t Playstations are fine.

          • Cerus98

            If their BD players are anything like their laptop then I’m not surprised. They leave much to be desired in terms of quality and reliability. They’re are about the best in that regard though compared to the other big brands. Between myself and my family we’ve owned about a dozen over the past few years.

            Sonys electronics have never let me down, CD, DVD, BD, speakers, A/V receivers etc. I own many of each and have always had good luck. My DVD players were always Sony since DVDs first came out, can’t really go wrong there.

          • Cerus98

            The only thing proprietary are the round edged discs. It’s still the same Blu Ray tech using a blue laser.

        • Dariuvahush

          That’s not the reason, the reason is that playing blurays is licensed and nintendo would have to pay a few dollars per console for allowing it to play bluray format. There’s no technical difference.
          Of course bluray ability would sell a few more systems, but would it be enough to cover the additional license costs? Nintendo decided it won’t and therefore didn’t buy the license.

          • Um, doesn’t the Wii U read disc in the opposite direction. The GC and Wii did.

          • Nobody

            Maybe it’s both? Most systems that allow movie playback on disc also have drives that go out a little faster than systems that don’t allow it or was never used for DVDs/BDs.

      • ludist210

        Nah, it could be done with a firmware update, same as how the Wii could technically play DVDs (if you HomeBrewed it).

        • Only the first batch of Wii’s could. The reason was because Nintendo originally planned on offering DVD playback separately.

      • Cerus98

        Wii U discs are Blu Ray.

        • panic atyourmoms

          a type of bluray. sony owns blu ray tech, if nintendo uses it, they owe sony money.

          • Cerus98

            There is a blu ray standard which all blu ray drives use including Nintendo. Sony doesnt own it either, the Blu Ray Disc Association does. A group of a dozen or more companies (yes including Sony) developed and promoted the technology and most hold patents on various aspects of the tech. I believe Panasonic owns most of the patents pertaining to it. The group exists to ensure equal, easy access to the technology rather than having to negotiate seperate licenses for each part. Sonys main patents are for the disc design itself while Panasoniscs are on the player side.

            It’s worth noting that the blu ray drive is not manufactured by Nintendo. It’s actually a Panasonic drive. I highly doubt they developed an entirely new blu ray tech that isn’t compatible with any of the current tech. That cost would be tremendous.

  • Geoffrey Tasker

    linked accounts is my main interest, that should have been done with monster hunters release. also as much as i am excited for the update, as rich at IGN said, “its just an update to make the system do what it should have been doing since launch.” I love the love the 3ds is getting on N-directs but we need first party Wii U news, and soon.

  • I don’t see every Wii U VC game crossing over, given that the 3DS won’t be able to map every input of N64 titles, potential GC titles, etc. Even implementing the touchscreen for a button or two doesn’t seem intuitive to me. However, going from 3DS to Wii U seems more doable, so I can see that happening.

  • Actually, with the e-shop, the idea is to erase virtual console games you’ve already played and are not playing at all (because you don’t have to pay again to download them whenever you want and they are of a very small size), especially those that don’t really give much for coming back. That way you wouldn’t be acumulating all these VC games on your screen.
    Still, those folders sure would come in handy 😉

  • Haize

    I would actually be totally fine with a Virtual Console subscription.

    • You know, something like Netflix for old Nintendo games might not be a bad idea. Play anything you want for $5.99 – $7.99 a month, cancel anytime. Something to consider for people who play a lot of games. Maybe even a Playstation Plus style, if you play this game during your subscription period, buy it for 25% less than normal.

  • Denison Guizelini

    We need region free console. Please.

  • ChiwawaBoi


  • Martijn Plasmans

    Update tomorrow. Virtual Console thursday. Thursday has always been the day of the new software. And being said that that will come one day after the update it makes sense.

    • Zuxs13

      Looks like the update may not be until Thursday.

  • DemonRoach

    I want a VC with cheap games. I don’t want to pay 7 bucks for games from the 80s and 90s. Especially when Nintendo offers no video filters to make these games playable on modern TVs.

    • Zuxs13

      The wii u versions look great on modern TV’s. If it doesn’t look good on yours, stop buying your TVs at Walmart.

      • But they got a good deal on that Westinghouse POS

    • No video filters? Really.. Plug in an old Nintendo through N64 using composite (Red, White, Yellow) and see that only every other line is displayed because old tube tvs were 480i or lower res. Then you will see that they have been filtered and enhanced.

      • Cerus98

        Tube TVs were also available in 480p. I used to have one.

        • Some of the later models like the Sony Trinitrons but for the most part people had 480i CRT TVs.

          • Cerus98

            Oh I know. I think mine was a Sanyo flat screen CRTV.

  • Fred

    Yesterday I was doing my club nintendo survey for New Super Mario Bros 2 and it asked what I was was better or different in the game and I told them I wish I could have had a choice between buying a single copy of the game for $40 or buying a “Club Nintendo License” (which I described to mean the ability to download the game onto any 3DS associated with the same Club Nintendo Account) for $60. I then told them that if I had that choice I’d pay the $60 because as it is we’d never be willing to pay $80 to play this game or other multiplayer 3DS games with my wife and I’d certainly not be willing to pay $120 to get 3 copies so that my daughter can join in, but if we had the option to pay $60 and download it to 2 or 3 3DS systems I’d do that without hesitating.

    It’s a brand new idea so I’m curious what you guys all think of this (obviously it wouldn’t apply directly to Wii U and this is a Wii U site, but I’m guessing that quite a few of you have 3DS systems too.

  • Irgendwii

    I hope there will be GameCube games on virtual console in the future!

    • Zuxs13

      Me too. The pro controller would be awesome for thing like rogue squadron. Also offtTV play for any game is a must.

  • Zuxs13

    This sounds like it could be done great new features. It also sounds like the update won’t happen until Thursday with VC coming on Friday and maybe even PC miiverse support this week as well!!!


    • Cerus98

      More rumors. Zero concrete evidence.

  • Sidney Majurie

    I just wonder if Nintendo would just utilize and implement every idea I pull out my arse… If not I will be very dissapointed… Sarcasm 😀

  • Nintendofreak


  • Eduardo

    soooo… its passed due…

  • Squid

    Wii U, I want the update…

  • Ducked

    They should.

  • Kaihaku

    I would love it if the Wii U and 3DS synced virtual console save data. It’s a no brainer that would significantly increase the amount of virtual console titles that I purchased.

    Another point that would sell me would be online multiplayer… I would love to play the original Mario Kart with my brother in Arizona or Secret of Mana with any number of old friends scattered across the country. Emulators can do this, there’s no reason that the virtual console can’t.

    Ah. One more feature. A Fast forward button. Please. I love old school RPGs but my tolerance for hours of fighting through random encounters has diminished with age.

  • TrueWiiMaster

    I wish they would add cross-play, even if there was a small fee, similar to upgrading Wii VC games to the Wii U versions. I’d definitely buy more VC games if I could play them on either my 3DS or Wii U with one purchase.

    I want gifting to come back too. As far as I know, it was a feature unique to the Wii, and I did use it several times.

  • steinhauershawn

    The Wii U to 3DS Region Locking the NES games from each other in the same region is complete Bull. The Line-up of NES games recently announced for the Wii U are the same ones that are also on the 3DS so that’s is a rip-ff to pay twice for a Home and Handheld version..

  • Raif

    All these ideas seem pretty cool, though the second they make games account based then thats the second I buy a second hard drive and start buying digitally.

  • panic atyourmoms

    MIIVERSE ONLINE IS UP https://miiverse.nintendo.net/

  • Update started. Finally