Nintendo After Dark: Wii U eShop only sells Mature games at night in Europe

Miiverse

Nintendo’s made some progress towards joining the rest of the gaming world on the Internet. After close to a decade of byzantine networking options like the Nintendo DS and Wii’s Friend Code system, Nintendo’s Wii U has introduced Miiverse, a welcoming and easy (at least easier) to use online gaming and social network. By doing away with Friend Codes, it seems as though Nintendo has finally recognized that all members of its audience—from the youngest children to octogenarian Brain Age players—are accustomed to communicating and gaming responsibly online. Nintendo hasn’t learned all its lessons apparently, since it appears that the company is restricting the sale of games on the eShop.

An Italian Wii U owner attempted to purchase ZombiU through the eShop and was met with an onscreen message informing them that the content couldn’t be viewed at this time. It turns out that this is not an error at all. Nintendo of Europe decided that all European Wii U owners can only access content rated for people about the age of 18 during certain hours of the day.

Following up with Nintendo, a customer service representative responded, “Dear Customer: We would like to let you know that Nintendo has always aimed to offer gameplay experiences suited to all age groups, observing carefully all the relevant regulations regarding content access that are present in the various European countries. We have thus decided to restrict the access to content which is unsuitable to minors to the 11pm – 3am time window.”

Yes, the Wii U has “After Dark” hours.

Eurogamer confirmed that this wasn’t localized to Italy either, testing Wii U’s in the UK and receiving a message that read, “You cannot view this content. The times during which this content can be viewed have been restricted.”

What’s particularly mystifying about this policy is that the Wii U has systems in place to check whether or not an adult is accessing the eShop. Part of the Wii U’s sales pitch is that different users can have profiles on the console, indicating preferences for both the console and Miiverse. Nintendo even goes so far as to charge people money for registering minors to the Miiverse, a process that “verifies parental consent” according to the company. If a child accesses the eShop via their account, shouldn’t 18+ rated games automatically not appear? Is Nintendo really so incompetent at ecommerce that the only solution it could come up with was restricting the hours at which these games can be purchased?

It should be noted that Nintendo is dealing with multiple ratings systems across all European territories which can understandably complicate matters. No such time restriction exists for US Wii U users. Regardless this does not bode well for the future of Nintendo’s digital business. One step forward into the digital world for Nintendo still involves two steps back.

Gaming

Once the dust settles, 'Fallout 76' will be a nuclear wasteland worth exploring

The launch of Fallout 76 has been nothing short of apocalyptic, but that doesn’t mean the game is dead on arrival. Bethesda has a path forward, paved by The Elder Scrolls Online, another game that suffered a rocky start.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for December 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles, as well as bundles that feature games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Gaming

Looking for a controller to play 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Try one of these

The Switch is the most versatile console around, and that means you might need a controller that's different from the norm. In fact, even the standard controller is a best weird. Here's our favorite Switch controllers.
Product Review

The competition was fierce, and this is the best TV of 2018

With stellar picture quality, excellent ease of use, and rich features, the LG C8 OLED is the best TV you can buy in 2018, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is right for you. Check out our review to learn more.
Gaming

Joker from ‘Persona 5’ will take your heart in ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’

Joker, the leader of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts from Persona 5, will arrive to Super Smash Bros. as its first DLC character. The announcement was a surprising one, because Persona 5 is a PlayStation 4 exclusive.
Gaming

‘Magic: The Gathering’ enters esports relevance with $10 million prize pool

Wizards of the Coast is pushing Magic: The Gathering into esports relevance with a prize pool of $10 million across the tabletop version and Magic: The Gathering Arena. Will the game be able to compete with Hearthstone and Overwatch?
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Get some bang for your buck with these Nintendo Switch console deals at Walmart

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in the past, but you can still get some bang for your buck on game consoles before the holiday season is done. Walmart has various Nintendo Switch bundles on sale right now.
Product Review

‘Just Cause 4’ is mindless fun that leaves little room for much else

Just Cause 4 revels in explosions and over-the-top action, but its world feels empty and hollow. With few new ideas and a stale open world, it's a fun but shallow piece of escapism.
Gaming

‘CS:GO’ goes free-to-play and players are not happy about it

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), has gone free-to-play this week in a controversial move. Players are angry that the problem of cheating will get much worse now that anyone can make a disposable account to play.
Gaming

The most common Xbox One X problems, and how to fix them

The Xbox One X is a brilliant console, but it's not without its issues, ranging from simple annoyances to severe hardware problems. Here are common Xbox One X problems and how to fix them.
Gaming

How to delete and reinstall games on your Xbox One

Removing and reinstalling games on the Xbox One's hard drive isn't difficult, but it's a process that not everyone is familiar with. Thankfully, our guide will run you through each step so you'll know precisely what to do.
Gaming

‘Street Fighter V’ players will get bonuses if they allow in-game ads

Capcom will show in-game advertisements on Street Fighter V starting December 11. Players may choose to deactivate the ads, but they will miss out on some bonuses and content if they do so.
Gaming

‘The Walking Dead: The Final Season’ returns with Episode 3 next month

Skybound Games revealed the release date for Episode 3: Broken Toys of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead: The Final Season. Clementine's story will be getting the ending that it deserves after all.