Last Day To Buy Wii Shop Channel Games Before It Shuts Down

Get them while you can.

32 Comments
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Now Playing: GS News Update: Wii Shop Channel Is Closing Down

Last fall, Nintendo announced that it will shut down the Wii Shop Channel. While the digital storefront will still be operational until next January, this weekend is effectively your last chance to buy any titles from it.

From March 26, players will no longer be able to purchase points for the Wii Shop on either Wii or Wii U. Points that are already in your account following that date can still be redeemed for titles until the service is discontinued next January, but you won't be able to add any more to your balance, which is the only way to download titles.

Unlike Switch's digital storefront, the Eshop, the Wii Shop Channel doesn't allow users to purchase games directly with real money. Rather, players have to first buy Wii Points using either a credit card or a pre-paid card, which could then be redeemed for digital software from the service.

While many of the games available on the Wii Shop would eventually appear on the Wii U Eshop, there are a number of Virtual Console and WiiWare titles that are only available through Wii's digital store, including a catalog of Genesis and TurboGrafx-16 legacy games, so this is your last opportunity to stock up on some otherwise unattainable titles while you still can.

The Wii Shop Channel shuts down for good on January 31, 2019. It is notable for being Nintendo's first digital storefront, though it will perhaps best be remembered for its impossibly catchy music. Until then, players can still re-download and transfer Wii Shop games to Wii U, and all WiiWare and Virtual Console titles purchased from the service will still be playable as long as they are on the system's memory.

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Avatar image for lordroberts774
lordroberts774

Just came to see how many re----ds confuse this with Wii U.

Avatar image for MabinogiFan
MabinogiFan

Most of the Virtual Console games are still available via emulation or physical copies, but the WiiWare games that were exclusive to the Wii Shop Channel will be lost forever. Hopefully they've been archived online somewhere.

Avatar image for nedrith
nedrith

@MabinogiFan: Games tend not to be ever lost forever. I know quite a few sites where I can download WiiWare games if needed. Emulation didn't start nor will it end wit the Virtual Console.

Avatar image for twztid13
twztid13

@MabinogiFan: save your SD card & Wii & you can play them until one of the two fails. Of course that doesn't help anyone that doesn't do this...

Avatar image for Shin_Gallon
Shin_Gallon

I wish the Wii U Virtual Console had been even a tenth as robust as the Wii's. At the very least every Nintendo first-party game that was on the Wii VC should have been on the Wii U's from launch day.

At least YouTube and my MP3 collection is there to preserve the music for posterity.

Avatar image for twztid13
twztid13

@Shin_Gallon: oh wow, the VC on Wii U didn't have all the titles available on Wii VC? I didn't realize that. That makes the lack of Switch VC make more sense, but puzzles me as to why such a lackluster effort went into Wii U.

Avatar image for lordroberts774
lordroberts774

@twztid13: technically they do on Wii mode, they just assumed all Wii U owners already had Wii (well, maybe they didn't wrongly assume, most Wii U owners did own a Wii).

Avatar image for twztid13
twztid13

@suprsolider: do you steal cars or houses, or anything else that don't meet your pricing standards? I mean I'd love it if every company had to let me pay what I wanted, else I'd pay nothing & get their product anyway, buuut I'd probably be in jail. In all seriousness, I usually don't waste time playing games that I don't think deserve my money (meaning I feel obligated to support the companies who create the games I love like Nintendo...though I realize it's different with older games whose devs likely don't exist anymore). When I was much younger & had lots more time on my hands, maybe...except.... well..... my girlfriend for several years hated video games & hated my friends that I played GoldenEye 64 with; sooo...... I stopped gaming for a few years... But I eventually showed her that I am a man & I can play all the video games I want. ...then she left me. But my point still stood.

Avatar image for 1Post
1Post

@suprsolider: There's nothing wrong with Nintendo's prices and they're reasonably priced for the most part. The other option is to spend up to hundreds of dollars getting the cartridge at Ebay. You ought to be thankful Nintendo is offering you the games in the first place.

But nope, you whine like a baby instead and resort to illegal activity. You accuse Nintendo of bringing BS prices, yet here you are, engaging in piracy. Hypocrite much?

Get over yourself.

Avatar image for euphoricshadow
EuphoricShadow

@1Post: To be honest when I used the Wii throughout its entire lifespan I remembered how ridiculously overpriced the old games were on the Wii Shop Channel. And on top of that how Nintendo exploit their customers by using the points currency which I think Xbox used to have if I recall. It's been so long so I don't quite remember which other company used it. The reason why I say it's an exploitive method is simply because they try to find ways of making customers purchase more points than they really need whenever they take interest in a certain title. A single N64 games would usually force you to buy more than one points card in order for it to be claimed, leaving you some points which I don't think would be worth much in the end. At least that's how I remember based on my experience.

Sure the overall service beats the idea of buying old gems from some auction site on average but c'mon let's be real here, Nintendo know that their customers are willing to throw in a lot of cash for old classics that are completely digital. These are the same games that can easily be emulated and run at higher resolutions if you got a modest rig. I just think with that alternative it'd be best for Nintendo to lower the prices and have them run and higher resolutions, kinda like what their competitors are doing with Xbox One and PS4 (Xbox I think has the best backwards compatibility service of this gen).

Avatar image for suprsolider
suprsolider

@1Post:

Their prices ARE the problem.

Yeah, I will resort to illegal activity. See if I give a crap. See if ANYONE here gives 2 craps. I am NOT paying exorbitant prices to Nintendo or the scalpers on ebay. I JUST WILL NOT. I REFUSE.

The only hypocrite here is YOU. The competition has deals on their old games all the time. Misadventures of Tron Bonne can go for hundreds on ebay for the physical disc, Sony has it for $5.99 but last week there was a sale where you could get it for $2.50 which I gladly paid. Same goes for other games. The competition can offer deals, Nintendo doesn't. Nintendo are greedy pricks and always have been. I don't owe them a damn thing. BTW I ALREADY OWN MOST OF THE GAMES OFFERED ON Virtual Console, I bought them decades ago, Nintendo and company ALREADY got my money. Again, if the prices were decent I would be more obliging but they aren't so I WON'T.

I have no issues with piracy when they don't offer products or offer them at fair value. That is when you have to go outside the current bullshit laws and stick the middle finger to them.

Avatar image for twztid13
twztid13

@suprsolider: which, ironically, is exactly the reason Nintendo would give as to why they have to charge the rest of us such a steep price. Remember, Nintendo also never had an additional revenue stream from yearly online MP services, and are the only one of the big 3 that is an exclusive console maker/game developer (meaning gaming is their main business/source of income, versus the competition who has multibillion dollar corporations in which their gaming divisions are an afterthought). Those corporations would still exist if gaming didn't turn a profit, but I doubt Nintendo could for too long. At least that's a possible rationale for their pricing decisions. I'm not in favor of Nintendo's prices being higher, but the main driver of lower prices is competition. The biggest defense against lowering prices is userbase staying stagnant or getting smaller, which pirating contributes to. Not preaching. Do what you will. Just wanted to try to offer a bit of perspective, possibly.

Avatar image for Blade_Runner_07
Blade_Runner_07

This makes me want to buy physical copy whenever I can.

Avatar image for mcnichoj
mcnichoj

@Blade_Runner_07: Why?

You can still download the games just not add money to buy them. Once the ability to download them is gone you can either just hack your Wii to play the games you owned but didn't download and then some. Better yet you can play on a PC with all kinds of crazy texture mods to get a better looking game. Probably mods that make the game even better.

Avatar image for twztid13
twztid13

@mcnichoj: can you hack it if you have most recent firmware? I thought it had to be prior to certain version, or is that not applicable on Wii? I know it's an issue on Vita & 3ds, but I don't even know anyone with a Wii for me to ask anymore.

Avatar image for mcnichoj
mcnichoj

@twztid13: I won't link anything but you can read the below and if you're interested, just highlight and Google search it.

You can try using the Smash Stack or Indiana Pwns methods to launch DOP-Mii or WAD Manager and roll back according to the above methods. This may be risky and could brick you Wii, so we will not go into details at the moment.
If you are competent enough to understand the first sentence of this paragraph and execute it yourself, please comment below about your experience.
Otherwise, you should probably wait for more information and a more bullet-proof method.

Some people have had success with the Restore Your cIOS on 4.3 Wii guide. It follows the method mentioned in the above paragraph. Here is a more detailed Indiana Pwns method guide: Wii Firmware 4.3 Downgrade _ Guide: Downgrade from 4.3 to 4.1. There is also a 4.3 Virgin Softmod guide, but it is untested by the writers here.

Avatar image for Blade_Runner_07
Blade_Runner_07

@mcnichoj: Thank you for the reply. I think we should keep this conversation going.

By my understanding, after january 2019, you will not be able to access the Wii Shop Channel. Wifi capabilities on Wii hardware will essentially be rendered useless.

So, in the unlikely event, something should happen to my Wii (flood, fire, etc.) with it's $$$ worth of Virtual Console titles, I can not just go out and find a used Wii, connect it to wifi, and redownload all my purchased software to the new hardware. So it's a loss of several dollars of software, as well as a large collection of titles amassed over a decade of gaming.

It's not all bad. Many of the greatest Virtual Console games are available on Wii U or 3ds, but this news makes me think the networking days for those consoles are numbered as well.

This scares me personally, because I have maybe six $40 digital titles on my 3ds. I take comfort in knowing if I drop the 3ds in in a sewer grate, never to be seen again, I can go buy a new/used 3ds, and use my Nintendo ID to essentially clone my old hardware.

This is important stuff. If we arnt careful, people like you and I who love our favorite games and want to revisit them every few years, are going to be buying them over and over again.

I know guys in their mid 30s that have bought Super Mario Bros. 3, five different times just to have their all-time favorite game on their newest toy.

In comparison, I've bought it twice. I'm comfortable knowing I have a physical copy of Super Mario All-Stars and can keep that for as long as I anticipate wanting to play some Super Mario Bros.

It's the last time I plan on buying any of those old mario games, and a big part of why I value the ability to go back and retain the rights and ability to download my purchases for as long as the hardware will play them, which if you take care of your consoles, can be a lifetime.

The bottom line it that after January 2019, Nintendo is taking our rights to our digital purchases on the Wii. While I'm not surprised given Nintendo history, the point of my original comment still stands more valid than ever.

A physical copy can last upwards of 40+ years. You have roughly 10 buying digital.

P.S. Hacking, emulation, etc. has never been a good solution for me. It's very rare games play, look, sound, as well as they do running off genuine media on genuine hardware.

Avatar image for mcnichoj
mcnichoj

@Blade_Runner_07: "P.S. Hacking, emulation, etc. has never been a good solution for me. It's very rare games play, look, sound, as well as they do running off genuine media on genuine hardware."

That was mostly true mainly if you were talking about emulation. However that was never true if you were playing a "back up copy" as it functions exactly the same if you're running it on the actual hardware. It could also run slightly faster for loading/saving if you run the back up from an external HDD that if faster than the internal drive/lense.

Then I also mentioned how people mod games running on emulators so in some regards Breathe of the Wild can be a better experience then on either of Nintendo's consoles where it's officially available.

I'm not saying to never buy games or to only buy games one way or the either but more or less all of it's a wash. I had long hacked my Wii and could get any classic Nintendo game on it for free but I still bought Earthbound on the Wii U the day it came out. I have over 900 digital PS4 games. I buy digital for convenience, sales and can use all their official features while PSN still works for the console. The day I can't get SOMA or whatever digital title from their service, I'm sure some piracy site will have it up if I ever want to play it on my PS4 again.

Avatar image for twztid13
twztid13

@Blade_Runner_07: one difference with 3ds & newer is the Nintendo network ID, so at least your games are tied to your username as a proof of purchase of sorts. Look how long the 360 & ps3 stores are staying up for. I think there's a good chance that all the big 3 will keep that generation & newer accessable (on those consoles, not necessarily ability to download on newer hardware). They profit from selling those older gen games, which wouldn't be possible if they remove them permanently. If 360 & ps3 games stop being available for purchase digitally for those systems, then it may be time to start to worry. I think there would be a backlash, so they win several ways by keeping them available online, & it more than pays for the server space it cost those companies to host them with the new sales from gamers revisiting their old system, etc. I definitely think Switch is in this category, but not having had a Wii U, I can't say if I'm confident it will be included in this "cloud" based future. It does use the Nintendo network ID, & that is at the core of any access to older games, since it's proof of purchase.

Regarding Homebrew on Wii after all service is discontinued, I'm not sure. I don't risk that with my consoles, but I think in order to access the wii shop on Wii currently, it requires a certain up to date firmware version. Usually, consoles with current firmware can't be used for Homebrew tyoe applications, so I'm not sure if that will change immediately after the cessation of all services by Nintendo, or if it will take hackers a while to adapt. I only mention that because it doesn't seem like a guaranteed solution to your issue.

Avatar image for Dullgarian
Dullgarian

Metroid Trilogy.... Do I buy it or wait for a possible Switch re-release, hmm?

Avatar image for twztid13
twztid13

@Dullgarian: I think you may be quite disappointed if you hold out for a Switch port of the Trilogy. MAYBE Prime 3 or Other M will get a remaster, but I doubt they'll port the Trilogy.

Avatar image for doctor_mg
Doctor_MG

@Dullgarian:

I think that the Wii U eShop isn't affected, just the Wii shop through the Wii U, so you should be able to purchase those games even after the Wii shop closes since they are through the Wii U eShop.

Avatar image for twztid13
twztid13

@doctor_mg: Those are GC & Wii titles, though. Isn't the Trilogy a Wii title?

Avatar image for doctor_mg
Doctor_MG

@twztid13: Yeah, the Trilogy is a Wii title, but it's on the Wii U eShop.

You couldn't actually download full Wii games on the Wii because Nintendo limited all downloads to 40MB.

Avatar image for doctor_mg
Doctor_MG

There are probably a few VC games that I want, but with no word on VC for Switch and the fact that I certainly wont be able to transfer these to my Switch makes me hesitant.

Maybe I'll just buy Sin and Punishment.

Avatar image for twztid13
twztid13

@doctor_mg: i still have like 1200 pts bit haven't been on there in year+. Sin & Punishment is what I wanted & was about to be pissed until I read you could spend points on your account after today. I can't get on my wii today so thought Id lose my points & opportunity to buy S&P at first.

Avatar image for doctor_mg
Doctor_MG

@twztid13: Yeah, I have 900 points left to spend and I have no idea what to spend it on. I bought S&P though! Maybe I should find a copy of S&P Star Successor for the Wii too.

Avatar image for Brettsky128
Brettsky128

@doctor_mg: I was in the same boat, and in fact, did purchase Sin and Punishment.

Avatar image for doctor_mg
Doctor_MG

@Brettsky128:

How is it? Worth the 12$?

Avatar image for uncle5555
uncle5555

@doctor_mg: Yes and plays awesomely with the Pro Controller.

Avatar image for Brettsky128
Brettsky128

@doctor_mg: Haven't played it yet, but since it's (as far as I know) the only way to officially play the game in English, I'd say it's worth it.

Luckily, Sin and Punishment is on the Wii U VC, so it'll still be available as long as the Wii U eshop is up.