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I'm loving the ability to download Wii U games and store them on an external USB hard drive. No need to go to the store to buy them, no need to deal with a bunch of discs, and the games load faster than they would from a disc.

Before I keep buying all my games digitally from the Wii U store, however, I want to make sure that if my hard drive dies I won't lose all the money I spent on games.

If the external hard drive attached to my Wii U dies and I replace it with a new one, can I re-download all the games I had previously paid for at no cost? Or do I have to buy them again?

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Yes, you can re-download as often as you'd like.

Note, however, that the eShop purchases are (currently) tied to the console, not your Nintendo Network ID. That means that if your Wii U itself dies, you need to get it repaired by Nintendo in order to preserve your purchases.

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    Is it possible to contact Nintendo and tell them your Wii U's serial number to "tranfer" your purchases from one console to the next? For example, when you previously owned a white Wii U and decided to go for a black one next?
    – Nolonar
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 12:56
  • @Nolonar: I don't believe it is, no; they need physical access to the console(s). Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 14:08

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