Nintendo has announced that it plans to close up the Wii Shop Channel on January 31 2019. After this date it’ll no longer be possible to buy titles or applications from the channel for either the Wii or Wii U consoles.
The process of closing up shop will actually begin before then, though, as from March 27 2018 users will no longer be able to add Wii points to their account.
When the shop does eventually close in 2019, Nintendo has said it’ll refund unused Wii Points and Wii Point Prepaid Cards though the process for how these refunds will be issued has yet to be decided.
Those who have already bought WiiWare or Virtual Console titles will still be able to re-download this content and use the Wii System Transfer to move items from the Wii to the Wii U. However, at some point in the future these services will also be closed (but Nintendo hasn’t settled on a date yet).
When these features do stop being available, Wii and Wii U owners will still own the content and be able to access the content they’ve purchased from the channel, they just won’t be able to erase it from the console if they want to continue to do so.
Given that Nintendo is now entirely committed to the Switch and handheld DS line, this shop closure is entirely unsurprising and certainly underlines that the Wii and Wii U are shifting into the company’s history rather than being part of its present. Committed Wii and Wii U owners will, however, always have the Nintendo eShop to access content from. Unless Nintendo one day drops support there too.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.