After nearly 12 years of operation, Nintendo will be shutting down the Wii Shop Channel next week. The service will officially be discontinued on January 30, after which point it will no longer be possible to purchase any WiiWare or Virtual Console games from the storefront.
Prior to the Wii Shop Channel’s shutdown, Nintendo removed the ability to purchase Wii Points on the service last March. Unlike the company’s current digital store, the Eshop, the Wii Shop Channel didn’t allow users to buy games directly with real money; rather, they had to first purchase Wii Points with either a credit card or a pre-paid card and redeem those for digital titles.
While it may no longer be possible to add more Wii Points to your balance, you can still spend any remaining points up until the service is discontinued next week. Although many of the Wii Shop’s Virtual Console games would later be released on Wii U and 3DS, the service still has a range of legacy and original titles that haven’t appeared on other Nintendo consoles, making this your last opportunity to stock up while you can.
With the Wii Shop Channel’s shutdown imminent, Nintendo says that any remaining video-on-demand apps for Wii will also be discontinued. It will still be possible to redownload any purchased software and transfer content to Wii U, although Nintendo says these services will likewise be shut down “in the future.” Any unused Wii Points will also vanish. You can read more details about the termination on Nintendo’s website.
While the Wii Shop Channel is notable for being Nintendo’s first mass market attempt at a digital storefront, it will be best remembered for its wonderful music, which will thankfully live on in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate soundtrack.