The Wii Shop Channel, entertaining and enticing digital game shoppers with its peppy soundtrack since December 2006, is now staring eventual death in the face with the rest of us.
Nintendo announced Friday that it will close the service and all its functions on Jan. 30, 2019.
Wii owners will have until March 25, 2018, to buy Wii Points or redeem them from physical cards, but Jan. 29, 2019, will be the last day anyone can buy software or download in the Wii Shop.
After the closing date, you won’t be able to spend Wii Points, or — this is potentially important — re-download any previously purchased content that you might have erased from your Wii system to make room for other things. Nintendo also recommends that if you wish to transfer content from a Wii system to its successor, the Wii U, you should do so while these services remain in operation.
Nintendo also recommends that if you wish to transfer content from a Wii system to its successor, the Wii U, you should do so while these services remain in operation.
The Wii Shop Channel is the ancestor of Nintendo’s current eShop services. Why does it even matter, one might ask? As this thread on Reddit illustrates, the Wii Shop Channel is the exclusive home to many Virtual Console games that you may not be able to get (legally) anywhere else.
“Because the Wii Shop Channel is being phased out, it’s a good idea to check this list and see if there are any games you want to buy before they’re no longer available,” says Mechageo. “Unless they’re added to a version of the Switch Virtual Console before the Wii Shop Channel service ends, none of these titles will be available for download on any Nintendo platform.”
(As the list points out, that includes the original U.S. versions of Final Fantasy III, so yeah … this matters, unless you’re lucky enough to snag a Super NES Classic Edition.)