Nintendo reveals why the Wii shop channel is still offline

A still from Super Smash Brothers with Mario hitting Bowser
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Update: Nintendo has issued the following statement to TechRadar Gaming confirming that the Wii and DSi shop channels are offline for maintenance:

"The Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop are currently undergoing maintenance. We will provide an update at a later date."

Original story: Nintendo's Wii and DSi shop channels are offline, meaning those who want to redownload old DSi or Wii games are currently unable to do so. 

As spotted by Eurogamer, both shop channels appear to have been down since March 16, with Nintendo giving no prior warning that either shop would be taken offline. Those trying to access the DSi shop are getting the error code 290502, while those trying to access the Wii shop channel are getting error code 209601 – both of which indicate an (in this case non-existent) network error.

Nintendo stopped allowing you to purchase games from the DSi and Wii stores years ago, but the shop channels still allow you to redownload previously purchased games. With the shop channels down, those still playing DSi and Wii games are unable to do so.

According to Trash_Bandatcoot on gbatemp, Nintendo's CDN – the download server that houses the shop data – is still active and allows for downloads from tools like NUSDownloader. That revelation suggests only the frontend of the stores is offline.

Analysis: more Nintendo shops closing?

New Super Mario Bros. U

(Image credit: Nintendo)

It's entirely possible that Nintendo has taken the shop channels offline for unscheduled maintenance, or maybe an error has occurred. But the lack of communication from the company has left some questioning whether the DSi and Wii shops will ever come online again.

Earlier this year, the House of Mario announced it will officially close the Wii U and 3DS stores in March 2023. The move means that those Wii U and 3DS owners will no longer be possible to buy new titles, download demos, redeem download codes, or add funds. But they can still access and redownload the digital goods they previously bought.

The DSi and Wii shops underwent a similar closure back in 2017 and 2019 respectively. But, if these channels went offline completely, any previously purchased digital goods would no longer be available to download. And they'd only be accessible if they were previously downloaded on those devices. 

It would be another major hit to gaming preservation – something which Nintendo has previously faced criticism for as its move to close the Wii U and 3DS stores means that classic NES titles are now locked behind a subscription service.

With no official word from Nintendo, though, we imagine that the current issue with the DSi and Wii shop channels is likely down to an error. After all, last year Nintendo reportedly accidentally delisted over 250 DSiWare games from the North American 3DS shop. 

TechRadar Gaming has contacted Nintendo for comment.

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.