The end is nigh for the Wii Shop Channel.
A few months ago, Nintendo announced that the Wii Shop Channel would be coming to a close in 2019. This created quite a reaction from Wii/Wii U owners, as the shop’s servers were overrun with traffic which ended up causing issues. While that 2019 closure is still quite a bit of time from now, Nintendo will be beginning the shutdown process this March.
The company has announced that as of March 26th @ 1PM (Pacific), shoppers will no longer be able to add Wii Shop Points to their accounts whether it be via a credit card or Wii Shop Channel Points prepaid card. If you’re unaware, the Points are the currency of the Wii Shop Channel. When the point addition service closes, shoppers will only have whatever is remaining in their account until the Wii Shop Channel comes to a complete close on January 30th, 2019.
When the Wii Shop Channel does come to a complete close, its entire Virtual Console and WiiWare selection will be gone forever unless Nintendo and the other companies involved decide to re-release any of the content on Switch. We’ve actually seen a hint of this with indie studio 2D Boy’s World of Goo which came to the Switch eShop last March. But, don’t count on many other developers to do something similar. If you really want to play any of the Wii VC or WiiWare titles, now is the time to add some points to your account and grab them up before they disappear forever.
On the bright side, the closure of the Wii Shop Channel will free up resources that can (and almost certainly will) be redirected into the continued support of the Switch. Hopefully by 2019 the still very mysterious Switch Online service will be fully functional, and thus it will be able to make use of the servers that are currently being used to run the Wii Shop Channel. When it does finally come to a close, it would have been in service for over 12 years. It’s the last remaining online service for the Wii, so its closure will officially mark the end of the Wii era forever.
NOW, CUE THE NOSTALGIA:
Having been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, A.K has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But, he has a great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys watching it all expand as a whole.