Wii Shop Channel shutdown FAQ from Nintendo - why the store is closing and more - Nintendo Everything

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Wii Shop Channel shutdown FAQ from Nintendo – why the store is closing and more

Posted on October 1, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Wii Shop Channel

It’s the end of an era for Nintendo, as the Wii Shop Channel is announced to be closing in 2019. This was the first notable store built in to a Nintendo console.

Following up on the news about the closure, Nintendo published an official FAQ about the Wii Shop Channel’s end. The company comments on why it will no longer be supporting the store, among other topics. You can read the full FAQ below.

Why is Nintendo no longer supporting the Wii Shop Channel?

Now that customers have shifted to Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS family systems, we plan to focus our efforts in those areas. As such, the Wii Shop Channel will close in 2019 after over twelve years of operation. We sincerely thank our loyal customers for supporting the Wii Shop Channel on their Wii systems. Please note that content downloaded on the Wii Shop Channel can be transferred to a Wii U system using the Wii System Transfer Tool.

Can users still play WiiWare games that they already purchased?

Yes. The ability to re-download WiiWare and Virtual Console games will also stop at some point. We will announce specific details as that time approaches.

When will all Wii Shop Channel services (including the ability to re-download) be terminated?

Users will be able to add Wii Points until March 26, 2018, and purchase content on the Wii Shop Channel until January 30, 2019. In the future we will be closing all services related to the Wii Shop Channel, including the ability to redownload WiiWare and Virtual Console games, as well as the Wii System Transfer Tool, which transfers data from Wii to the Wii U system. We will announce specific details as that time approaches.

What happens to Wii Points that haven’t been used?

– We encourage people to spend any unused Wii Points before January 30, 2019, after which it will no longer be possible to purchase content from the Wii Shop Channel.
– Refunds of Wii Points are not possible.
– Wii Points cannot be used to fund a Nintendo eShop account or Nintendo Account.

How can users transfer WiiWare and Virtual Console content to a newer system?

– For details on how to transfer Wii Shop Channel content to a Wii U system, please see this support page.
– Please be aware that the ability to transfer will be removed at some point in the future. We will make an announcement with specific details as that time approaches.

Will users still be able to purchase WiiWare games after the Wii Shop closes?

Some WiiWare games are available via Nintendo eShop on Wii U systems. Be sure to check out the Virtual Console offerings on Nintendo eShop for your favorite classic games.

What impact will the Wii Shop closure have on my VOD (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) service?

We have nothing to announce at this time.


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  • Exy

    12 years is a pretty good run. It’s a longer time than the Xbox Live Indie Games library got.

  • MajoraMan28

    Just confirming the obvious:

    Can I still play my VC games after 2019?
    I’m worried, bc the Wii is the only place currently among Nintendo consoles that I can play the original SNES version of Final Fantasy VI and Secret of Mana. And I seriously don’t want to lose them, specialy since I doubt they would return soon on a VC for Switch, IF it’s a thing to begin with.

    • Vigilante_blade

      This is the big issue with digital. Once your console breaks, that’s it. It’s gone.

      • MajoraMan28

        I preserve my Wii to the max extent.
        It’s my favorite console since the SNES probably, so I won’t see it breaking anytime soon. But indeed, if an accident occurs, these two games would be lost forever.
        I hate digital media because of this, hence why I’ve always advocated for mainting physical media in the market.

        • Vigilante_blade

          Yeah, but I also think we need actual legislation. No one should be able to sell you somehting and then take its access away. All digital games should be forcefully into an account and downloadable in some form. E.g. If I buy Super Mario RPG on Wii U, then it should be accessible on a Switch with the same account.

          • MajoraMan28

            Yes, in that sense Nintendo is extremely behind the times.
            We need this to be a thing, otherwise people are going to be paying more money for the same game they bought 5 times, or possibly losing said game because of how hard it is to come by.

          • TheChosen

            Where your logic fails- the Internet can also break. So even an account in the internet can either be hacked- or it can stop to work, once the internet is gone.

            Nobody guarantees you, that in 10 years from now, the internet will still work.

            My internet provider said 2 years ago “Use the internet while it`s there. Since one day it will be gone.”

            We had some nice talking about how the internet really works, and why it can break and how reliable it is and what is taxing the internet right now.

            It´s funny because- yesterday i could not access google-servers. For 2 hours. We had an internet-breakdown for 2 hours! No Youtube, no Amazon, no Google…Nothing worked.

      • Airsh Bornely

        Well thanks to the hacking community, you can backup your Wii’s NAND. Meaning you can literally put it on a whole other Wii if you’d like.

        • dbizal

          Most people turn their noses up at the hacking community but if it wasn’t for them you wouldn’t be able to back-up your console.
          My first Wii Broke after I dropped it and I lost everything, saves, games etc… Nintendo wouldn’t allow me to download the games again as they didn’t lock to an account (Customer services were a joke). So instead I hacked my Wii and downloaded everything again.

      • TheChosen

        hmmmm. i never had a breaking Nintendo-console 😉

        See above. Wii and WiiU were made for eternity. By Satoru Iwata, not created by Sale`s man “Kimishima” which only cares about money.

        It´s far more likely a Wii and WiIU will still work in 2030, than it´s likely that a New 3DS will still work then.

        The cooler your chips runs (my New 3DS is getting very hot while surfing lately), the longer it will last.

        The hotter the chip gets, the more electronmigration is going on. Until the chip dies.

        • Vigilante_blade

          Neither Iwata nor Kimishima ever made a console. They have a division for that. And I find it unfair to throw shade at Kimishima just because he is not Iwata. Iwata was also about money, as any president would be.

          • TheChosen

            No dude. Iwata was a programmer in his mind and a gamer (see his motto, he even said that himself, why do you think he said that? For joking? Kimishima would never say that because the only thing he ever knew was being a Sale´s man).

            Iwata wasn´t a sale´s man. And he didn`t really care about money. That´s why the console is “too expensive” for many.Even Gamecube and Wii was “too expensive” for many for this reason, because he put in way more lasting components, as compared to eh let`s say a smartphone today (which breaks in 1-2 years average).

            Now look at Switch lol. It has the exact same problems any console today has from Sony/MS. Low quality, breaky components…cheapest axial fan, that not even my low-quality graphic-card in my PC uses (my graphics card uses a quality-fan, not a low-quality axial fan lol).Chips in Switch is built with tiniest structures. That leads to early death.

            A Pentium 1 will still work in the year 2100. But you can eat a cake in one if your Core i7 bought in 2016 will still work in 2026 😀 I guarantee you, the Core i7 bought in 2016 will fail within 5 years under load.

            Do you think it`s coincidence they now need 0.5 Volts more for chips to still work at Intel? No dude. They need that, because the tinier the structures get, the more energy you need now, to make them work reliable.

            My 2006-Core 2 Duo needed 0.8 Volts (standard).10 years are gone (2016) it now needs 0.9 Volts to run stable (simple electron-migration i used it very often and with taxing tasks and not higher than 50-55°C temperature).

            A today´s Core i7 needs 1.2 Volts standard to run stable (+50% more voltage than C2D in 2006). In 5 years you´ll need to give it 1.5 Volts to still run stable.

            Have you heard how many Core i7-cpus died alone in this year because of electron-migration?
            I`m glad i didn`t buy such tiny components. I simply don´t buy any longer such components. Too breaky.

            I use reliable tech only now, which will still work in 10-20 years from now.

            My components newer breaks. No single Nintendo-console has ever died in my house. And i own countless from day 1 (i once had many NES and SNES, but i sold them lately, but i still own many Wiis, gameboys, DS and 3DS and also 3 WiiUs). Pretty much all from day 1.

            And this rule will still work in my house for the next 50 years…

            But the dying of cpus, gpus, Rams (yes, even Rams are affected of electron migration now, this is the truth now why Ram-prices have risen for the last 2 years) has just started.

            In 10 years from now, when you have- let`s say working 1nm-cpus and gpus, your chips will no longer last 5-10 years, but max. 6 months sir. 6 Months.

            Oh and it will maybe require 1.8 Volts standard-voltage to run stable…That´s what`s going on.

            Same goes on for RAM now (Ram over 1800 Mhz dies within 5 years average and needs more Voltage after a few years to run stable => electron-migration).

            See? And i will be here when this day comes and everything breaks within weeks and months. Oh yes. And i will laugh about those, which bought those components 😀

            See? My last Intel-cpu was the Core i7 3770k. I knew cpus would die much earlier then. So i skipped all Intel-cpus since then. I skipped Core i7 4xxx, 5xxx and 6xxx…

            And if you dare to OC a today´s Core i7/AMD-Ryzen it also dies much faster because tinier structures get damaged much faster. The same goes for ARM-chips built in tiniest structures btw.

            A 3DS will still work in 20 years from now on (because it uses an Arm 11 built with “huge” 65nm structures).

            But the New 3DS is using a much smaller structure for it`s cpu i heard, 28nm. So yeah. I doubt it`S going to last that long. It will die much younger. New 3DS will die within 5-10 years average.

            And now guess which only Nintendo-device ever has broken once in my life? It´s funny. It was the New 3DS. It has broken last year and Nintendo answered back “cpu-malfunction, the cpu died of too much heat, we will replace this for free and the mobo will also be replaced”.

            Something like that. Since then i learned my lesson. No more hot chips being bought by me.

    • Carlos

      As long as it’s on the system, yes. You won’t be able to re download it at a certain point though.

      • Vigilante_blade

        This is why I keep asking for cross gen.

        • Carlos

          Switch will be the last system I purchase VC on. If they don’t some kind of cross gen download, I’ll stop buying VC games.

          • Alexander Eap

            This is why going on digital on console is stupid. If the service on any of those provider goes down or no longer in service, than all you game is gone. That is why you always go physical.

          • TheChosen

            Eh dude? VC-games are a thing of the past now…At least those you can fully buy and own them…Now it´s about lending VC-games in the future (starting january/begin of 2018).

            I never had a single Nintendo-console dying on me…So why is everybody worrying about this? Are you not using it like you should?

            Even on the WiiU it`s likely it will still work with high probability in the year 2030….But a PS4/Xbox One/switch won`t work until then because of too much electronmigration (devices getting much hotter than a Wii or even a WiiU).

            The rule is: The hotter a chip gets the faster it dies. very simple rule, isn´t it?

            The Wiis and WiiUs were built like Gameboys. Made for eternity.

            A 1989`s Gameboy still works today in my house…Why should i worry about it? It had a faulty power-switch lately, that i had to to de-rust, but after doing that it worked perfectly well again 😀

            You should rather worry, about how long the Switch`s chips will survive. Or how long others will last until they die because of too much electronmigration…

    • Fandangle

      If you’re scared of your system failling at some point now would be a great time to hack it and back up all your VC games and even your disc games (the Wii can easily rip discs if your laser hasn’t gone out) Store them on your computer, restore them onto a new wii or just play them through dolphin.

      • Airsh Bornely

        I’ve been planning on doing this. Though I’m curious, can a Wii NAND be put on vWii (Wii U) or just another Wii? Asking because I have some VC N64 games I have on vWii to be played with a GC controller. I guess I could just install it on Dolphin.

        • Fandangle

          I’m not exactly sure. I’ve never tinkered with my vWii. There is a homebrew discord you could ask. Doesn’t take much digging to find it.

    • Tony Horo


    • R.Z.

      There’s SNES Mini too now, though I’m not sure whether you can count it as a real console.

      • TheChosen

        SNES-mini has worse emulation than on WiiU though. Much worse. Similar to that on Smartphones. For good reasons.

        • JasonBall

          It’s way better than Wii u what you talking about

          • TheChosen

            No dude. WiiU has perfect SNES-emulation (well nearly, i mean as perfect as it can get, WiiU is bad in emulation at N64-games). SNES-Mini has worse emulation in terms of sound and is less precise (graphics).

            SNES Mini lacks the soundchip. Thus sound is worse (of course lol).

          • JasonBall

            I must have been thinking of N64 then. I find the SNES Classic very fine. Pixel perfect and it’s brightness makes it better than Wii u for me practically, I don’t care much for perfect specs or anything.

          • TheChosen

            No dude. I meant SNES-emulation only.

            N64-emulation is bad on WiiU though (for good reasons, N64 doesn´t use a sound-chip, so you have to use bare cpu-performance to emulate it, since the Arm-cpu of SNES-Mini is clocked way higher than WiiU that explains the good emulation of N64 on SNES-Mini).

            Good i don´t care about N64-games lol. I think the N64 was allways Nintendo´s “Worst” console to be honest.

            I liked the SNES with it´s crazy cool sounds like in “Ghostbusters” a lot.

            But to be honest: I liked the playstation 1 in these days. Not the N64 lol. So yeah. I was 100% multi in these days you could say. Today i`m not that multi any longer since my job now forbids i can spend much time with gaming.

            I am also a lot older and more experienced now. So i won`t spend my life with just gaming or bad games in general. I only spend my life with good games instead. And programming. Both combined is what i like about it.

          • JasonBall


        • R.Z.

          It can emulate Super FX though …

    • TheChosen

      Just make a back-up on an sd-card…Or make sure, your console is in good health.

      A Wii has a MTBF of over 20 years dude. You will still be able to use it in 2030 if necessary. IN the meantime many other consoles will long be dead because of electron-migration.

      A Wii can´t really die of electronmigration. It rather dies because it`s flash-memory or other memory is failing. Even a single transistor failing is more likely than the Wii`s chips dying 😉

  • Blanco8x8

    A very scary thought. By 2019, my Wii U will become a precious, irreplaceable, relic.

    Like the world’s oldest bubble from Atlantis Squarepantis.

  • I have a few titles I need to buy, VC and WiiWare. I loved the Wii Shop Channel, and I’m gld it had a great run. I hope to see most of these titles and plenty more on the Switch at some point.

    Nintendo is realizing that people are eating up older titles, so I doubt they’d pass on the chance to continue to find success in some form of VC.

    • Gestrid

      Hopefully that form isn’t just a line of Classics plug-and-play consoles.

      • I don’t think it’ll be just that, because that’s already so limited. Not every series is Pokemon, so I don’t think everything will get that treatment, but I think they will try to improve their efforts overall similar to releases like we’ve been getting with that. (Although not every country is getting it physical either, right?)

  • Paddy Alfan

    I feel a great shiver thinking that at some point in the future, I would lost all my digital games

  • Tlink7

    2019? That’s still a while lol

  • might this be an indication of a Switch VC timeframe? March? I know it’s also the end of their fiscal year, so that’s more likely.

    • TheChosen

      No dude. It´s january 2019 – not march 2018 when you´ll be no longer able to download such games. And that most like doesn´t mean you`ll going to get it on “switch” lol.

      since that happened in the past allready. With no further announcements necessarily being made.

      Virtual Console is a thing of the past it only means. Since Nintendo plans to put it online in the future. Just wait until next direct for 2018`s forecast. You´ll be hearing more about that in that direct.

      • It’s January 2019 when you can no longer purchase games (with funds still left in your account)… But it’s March 2018 when you can no longer add funds, so unless you add funds before March 26th you can effectively not purchase any more games regardless of this January 2019 date. And I theorize it’s unlikely but nonetheless interesting date, which I ultimately attribute to Nintendo’s fiscal year end, and nothing more.

  • jdizzl

    Pretty annoyed. I recently got a Wii in the last few months specifically *for* some of the VC games and to play a few GCN titles. I don’t even have any Wii games… I play retro games only. Some of the VC SNES titles are literally 80-100 dollars each. Some of the NEO GEO titles are over a thousand for the cart! I have several of these old consoles, but those games aren’t worth THAT much just to play them. NINTENDO, you still have users that will buy and play through these games… just host them on a damn file server or allow some other form of DRM rights where I can buy from the Nintendo website and load on an SD Card w/o hacking the system. Nintendo MUST understand there is a big demand for old games…otherwise they wouldn’t release stuff like nes classic/snes classic, … I don’t get it. Nintendo continues to baffle me with their decisions.