Wow. Nintendo really wants to cause dissension among the Wii U owner ranks. The company has begun its new Wii U Deluxe Digital Promotion that rewards people who download Wii U games with points that can be turned into eShop credit to spend on more downloadable games. The catch is, the promotion is only open to Wii U Deluxe Set owners. If you only grabbed the $299.99 Wii U Basic Unit, Nintendo apparently doesn’t care if you use the eShop or download games. It’s only rewarding people who spent $349.99 on the Wii U Deluxe Set.
Here’s what happens for Wii U Deluxe Set users. They get to register at the Wii U Deluxe Digital Promotion site and from thenceforth get 10% in points on any Wii U eShop purchase. It doesn’t matter if you bought the game from the eShop or got the code for the downloadable game from another online or brick-and-mortar store. You’ll get 10% credit in points, which you can then redeem once you’ve earned enough. The example on the site shows you get 599 points when you get a $59.99 game download, then can take 500 of those points and redeem them for a $5 eShop credit. This applies to all Wii U eShop purchases made on a Wii U Deluxe Set system by December 2014. Just make a purchase through the eShop, then log in at the Wii U Deluxe Digital Promotion page and you’ll start earning points for purchases.
The thing is, this didn’t have to be a exclusive Wii U Deluxe Set promotion. Granted, the Wii U Basic Set’s 8GB hard drive is pretty meager, especially when taken up by the 5GB day-one firmware, but that isn’t an issue thanks to the ability to add any external hard drive to provide extra storage. But it seems Nintendo doesn’t care about that feature. It’s decided that the only people worth rewarding are the ones willing to pay $350 instead of $300.
It’s needless discrimination. Given the demand for Wii Us, it’s foreseeable that there will be Nintendo fans who are devoted and wanted a Wii U Deluxe Set, but couldn’t because they just couldn’t find one. These are people who would probably be more than willing to build a digital library, maybe even have a 1TB external hard drive ready and waiting for games, but won’t be receiving any kudos for going digital.
Of course, other Wii U Basic Set owners may have had other reasons for picking up the smaller, cheaper version of the console. Maybe they’re strapped for cash at the moment. Maybe they didn’t want Nintendo Land and figured they’d spend the extra $50 on an external hard drive. I’m sure they’d love to earn money back on digital purchases.
Nintendo is wrong for imposing a system model limitation on the Wii U Deluxe Digital Promotion. Yes, the Wii U Basic Set has a smaller built-in hard drive, but it’s easily fixed and people shouldn’t be shut out of a rewards promotion just because they couldn’t or wouldn’t purchase a $350 system.
People need to tell Nintendo what they think. North American Wii U Basic Set owners should contact Nintendo via the Nintendo Support page and express their thoughts on the Wii U Deluxe Digital Promotion. If enough people speak up and say that it isn’t right that only Wii U Deluxe Set owners get rewarded, perhaps Nintendo will reconsider and open up the Wii U Deluxe Digital Promotion to all Wii U owners.