12 years in, Nintendo is closing down the Wii Shop Channel
Today marks the last day for the Wii’s built-in digital marketplace and any WiiWare games that were available exclusively through the storefront. As previously announced, January 30 is the final day the store will remain open for business.
It’s a shutdown that has been looming for some time; Nintendo first announced plans to close the digital store down back in September 2017, noting at the time that it would end the sale of Wii Points in March 2018 and take the store offline for good at the end of January.
It’s been roughly 12 years since both the Wii and the Wii Shop Channel launched, and the shutdown takes the Wii’s (and, by extension, the Wii emulator built into the Wii U’s) WiiWare and Virtual Console stores offline as well.
For the time being, Wii and Wii U owners will still be able to redownload any WiiWare (including games and other channels) or Virtual Console games that were purchased ahead of today’s shutdown, but Nintendo has said that it plans to end that service and support for the Wii to Wii U Transfer Tool at an undetermined point in the future.
Today also brings the final day of the Wii’s streaming video support. As quietly announced just a few months ago, services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video will no longer function on the Wii on January 31. That end-of-service comes as its current generation system, the Nintendo Switch, still lags behind other consoles in terms of video streaming offerings.