PSA: Wii Shop Channel Shutting Down Today

End of an era.

24 Comments

After 12 years of operation, Nintendo is shutting down the Wii Shop Channel. The service will officially be discontinued today, January 30, after which point it will no longer be possible to purchase any WiiWare or Virtual Console games from the storefront.

Prior to the Wii Shop Channel's shutdown, Nintendo removed the ability to purchase Wii Points on the service last March. Unlike the company's current digital store, the Eshop, the Wii Shop Channel didn't allow users to buy games directly with real money; rather, they had to first purchase Wii Points with either a credit card or a pre-paid card and redeem those for digital titles.

While it may no longer be possible to add more Wii Points to your balance, you can still spend any remaining points up until the service is discontinued. Although many of the Wii Shop's Virtual Console games would later be released on Wii U and 3DS, the service still has a range of legacy and original titles that haven't appeared on other Nintendo consoles, making this your last opportunity to stock up while you can.

With the Wii Shop Channel's shutdown imminent, Nintendo says that any remaining video-on-demand apps for Wii will also be discontinued. It will still be possible to redownload any purchased software and transfer content to Wii U, although Nintendo says these services will likewise be shut down "in the future." Any unused Wii Points will also vanish. You can read more details about the termination on Nintendo's website.

While the Wii Shop Channel is notable for being Nintendo's first mass market attempt at a digital storefront, it will be best remembered for its wonderful music, which will thankfully live on in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate soundtrack.

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dragonsama

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This is why Digital Distribution is bad.

If your local storage was full and you delete something to play something else and the service shuts down you are no longer able to download something you bought. That money you spent on that Digital game and the games itself are gone forever.

Always buy physical no matter what!

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Avatar image for rickjamesia
rickjamesia

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@dragonsama: What's the point if I'm not going to go back and play it? I've got way too many games and way too little time for games to go back and play something that's over a decade old. Also, what about games that require day 1 patches to even work properly even with physical copies? Large budget games these days just don't lend themselves to having network support dropped.

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Avatar image for Xylymphydyte
Xylymphydyte

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@rickjamesia: You literally just outlined all the other additional reasons that digital distribution is bad.

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LeoKRock

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Sad to see this go. Just spent my last 1500 points on 1080 for Nintendo 64 and NES Punch Out... if I had the option I would’ve certainly also get Mario Golf, maybe Mario Kart 64 and Smash. I miss N64, hopefully Nintendo will bring N64 games to Switch or release a N64 Classic Mini.

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Vodoo

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Edited By Vodoo

If the services digital games will be taken offline at an undetermined time in the future, then they should add these games to your current Nintendo console of choice. Especially if it's a Nintendo owned game. There's no excuse for that. These weren't new games, they're 30+ years old and could run on any modern handheld, nevermind a console.

Do the right thing Nintendo! Unlock these games for people that own a newer Nintendo console for free.

I haven't owned a Nintendo product since the Gamecube, but I hate seeing people lose content they paid for, especially such old, 1st party games that could run on any hardware. So there's no excuse.

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Doctor_MG

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@Vodoo: You aren't losing content that you paid for though.

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lion2447

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@doctor_mg: "It will still be possible to redownload any purchased software and transfer content to Wii U, although Nintendo says these services will likewise be shut down "in the future."

It means it is possible that people will lose paid content in the future. As long as the games are downloaded there is no problem, but if they are not ,they won't be able to be downloaded again in the future. Worse, if someone has a storage failure with no backups available, they are essentially out of luck. All the paid content would not be able to be redownloaded.

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Doctor_MG

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@lion2447: That's a pretty specific issue though. In general, people aren't losing the content that they purchased. Unless you've failed to redownload them since they announced it would be shutting down. Which was almost two years ago if I remember correctly.

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Vodoo

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Edited By Vodoo

You are though, losing content you paid for. For people that don't read gaming news a lot, they probably have no idea. Then grandma goes to fire up her Wii Bowling and finds out it doesn't work (just an example).

And don't forget... Some of these games will work on other systems, but the Wii was a super casual console. Meaning a lot of people may not own another Nintendo system to play them on. Without the digital verification that the game is owned, because the Wii won't do it, these people have no way to access their content.

And from the quote above, Nintendo will also shut down the Wii U servers and then you have zero way of playing those games even if you did move them from the Wii to the Wii U.

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calvin3464

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At least we'll still play all our physical and digital games on our Wii consoles.

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Avatar image for Xylymphydyte
Xylymphydyte

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Although many of the Wii Shop's Virtual Console games would later be released on Wii U and 3DS

This is kinda irrelevant considering they wanted you to pay for it again. Both times. I'd take less issue if they were differently developed games but they're literally just selling you excessively overbloated and surprisingly low accuracy emulation.

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Avatar image for doctor_mg
Doctor_MG

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@Xylymphydyte:

You didn't have to buy the games again from Wii to Wii U. They transferred to your Wii U no problem, and with no cost. I literally just purchased a Wii U and transferred all my games no problem.

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Avatar image for Xylymphydyte
Xylymphydyte

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@doctor_mg: Sure, if you wanted to use the Wii emulator with its inferior performance, you still had to pony up the dough for the WiiU native versions.

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Doctor_MG

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@Xylymphydyte:

The Wii U doesn’t use emulation for Wii backwards compatibility. Not sure what you’re on about.

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Xylymphydyte

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@doctor_mg: I was referring to the Virtual Console content and their inferior performance on the Wii side. It's a moot point since the Wii content will be gone on the WiiU too making the whole situation that much worse.

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Doctor_MG

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Edited By Doctor_MG

@Xylymphydyte:

The Wii U virtual console emulation is basically the same though. Difference is only native output.

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redhedjack

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@Xylymphydyte:

I think if you already own the game via Wii, it'll only cost you like $2 to get it again on Wii U. Still, should be free imo.

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Xylymphydyte

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@redhedjack: That only applied to certain Nintendo property games and in many cases was time limited, the price varied a lot too from game to game and platform to platform. In most cases you just have to buy the whole thing all over again, only for them to no doubt shut the service down in the future and for you to lose access to it forever unless you want to pony up the cash for another indeterminate lease on a 30 year old rom.

I solved the whole thing by just not buying Nintendo products anymore, that seems to have worked out alright.

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redhedjack

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@Xylymphydyte: No Mario Odyssey for you then.

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Xylymphydyte

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@redhedjack: Yeah, no Smash Bros Ultimate either, and I'm a huge fan of the Smash series, but I'm tired of buying consoles for like three games.

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redhedjack

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@Xylymphydyte: Well as of now the Switch has Odyssey, Smash, BotW, Mario Kart 8, Bastion, Celeste, etc. I'm still waiting for it's library to broaden before getting one myself.

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Xylymphydyte

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@redhedjack: They've only been getting me with Zelda and Smash since the Gamecube, and I haaated Breath of the Wild having played it on WiiU. Otherwise Nintendo's mostly only been offering one or two generation old indie releases I've already gotten on PC for pennies, and I don't have much use for a handheld device so the whole Switch situation is a giant miss for me.

Nintendo has just been chasing another lucky fad and peddling nostalgia for ages, it really saddens me considering their roots.

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