Time is running out to make any final purchases – or downloads – on Nintendo’s precursor to the eShop.
Before the eShop became Nintendo’s shopping platform of choice, it conducted digital sales using the Wii Shop Channel. It was here that players could first purchase classic games for the Virtual Console, or obtain original digital content under the WiiWare brand. Now, two consoles later, the Wii Shop Channel’s time is finally coming to an end.
In a notification published on Nintendo’s Japanese site, the publisher confirmed it will wind down the Wii Shop Channel service next year. Starting on March 27 2018, customers will no longer be able to add Wii Points to their accounts. Further Wii Shop Channel purchases will be discontinued on January 31 2019. (And just so we’re clear, these closures extend to the backwards compatible Wii software bundled into the Wii U.)
For a limited time after the closing date, players will be able to redownload any of their Virtual Console or WiiWare games, along with the Wii U transfer app. Eventually, even those services will be shut down.
While most notable Virtual Console/WiiWare games are available on Nintendo’s other consoles, it’s a fairly sobering reminder on how hard it can be to preserve digital copies of our games.
As it stands, players have a little over a year to buy what they’d like and get their backups in order.