Nintendo has stamped an expiration date on the digital marketplace for games on the original Wii. The company has announced that it will be ending support for the Wii Shop Channel in early 2019, just over 12 years after the store first opened.
With that closure, owners of the Wii and Wii U will no longer be able to browse the store's catalog or pick up any of the games or channels found within.
This extends to all aspects of the store including the Virtual Console and indie dev-friendly WiiWare section, though users will be able to re-download past purchases for the time being. This upcoming closure also extends to the built-in Wii emulator on the Wii U.
Devs and players looking to bolster their digital Wii game catalog ahead of the closure have some time to prepare. Nintendo says it will stop selling the shop’s Wii Points currency on March 26, 2018. Ten months later, on January 31, 2019, WiiWare, the Virtual Console, and Wii Shop Channel will no longer accept purchases.
While Nintendo has said that players will be able to redownload their existing WiiWare or Virtual Console games following the closure, it notes that this service and the Wii U Transfer Tool are also planned to be shut down at some point in 2019, effectively closing the book on the Wii’s online game library once and for all.