About a month ago, it was noticed that the Wii Shop Channel had a slight change to its interface. On the first screen of the channel, the “Settings” button was modified to “Settings and Features,” which seemed to point at some sort of update in the future. It’s worth noting that when this was discovered, there were no additions to the shop channel. However, one report is coming in that the Wii Shop Channel has finally seen a conspicuous alteration, but only on Japanese Wii consoles. When one clicks the “Settings and Features” button, an object comparable to a medallion shows up. Following this, a 16 digit code is required. At the time of writing, no one seems to be quite sure of the “feature’s,” functions however. The input of both American and Japanese Wii console numbers were attempted, with no results. According to the same source, the Japanese Wii Shop manuals have updated information about the feature, but due to the lack of Japanese language knowledge, the information has yet to be deciphered. More news as it breaks.
Mini-update: Some have begun to speculate that the new feature on the Shop Channel will allow users to obtain free Wii points, possibly related to WiiWare/VC titles. Basically, if one were to complete a game, you’d receive a code to enter that could reward someone with Wii points. Whether this is actually true remains to be seen, but would make sense and would be an interesting update.
2nd mini-update: I’ve made the screenshot a bit clearer, so if anyone can read Japanese, try taking a crack at the text!
3rd mini-update: handheldplayer, in our comments section, suggests that the text reads as “Bonus Redeem Software.” Can anyone else confirm this? And does anyone have a guess as to what this could mean? More pictures here and here, courtesy of WiiRevolution1.
4th update: Mystery solved – Also according to handheldplayer, it seems that certain retail games will provide numbers for the Wii Shop Channel. The Wii will be able to obtain the “bonus software,” through the Wii Shop Channel. I’m assuming that this could end up being free content for some games, but the specifics of this newest addition haven’t been exactly pinpointed. Still, I’m hoping that such a feature would eventually be considered for North America, but its anyone’s guess at the moment!