Wii Shop to close in January 2019

Nintendo’s best retro console might not be the NES or SNES Classic. For instance, the old Wii still offers a functional Wii Shop and Virtual Console. Many mini-NES and SNES games can be purchased on the Wii today.

But according to an official Nintendo announcement, the end of an era will come in January 2019. The Wii Shop will unfortunately close for good. The platform to purchase, redownload or transfer Virtual Console games will be gone. Forever.

Here are some excerpts from the letter below.

“On January 30, 2019, we plan to close the Wii Shop Channel, which has been available on Wii systems since December 2006.”

“You can still 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 redownloading purchased WiiWare, Virtual Console titles, and Wii Channel, as well as Wii System Transfer Tool, which transfers data from Wii to the Wii U.”

The letter’s author goes on to recommend that the services be used while available. At least, it is a long time until 2019.

Regardless, when 2019 comes, it will be the end of an era. At the end of the Wii’s lifecycle, retro gamers chose from a superb collection of NES, SNES and Nintendo 64 games on the Wii Shop. The Wii also gave owners built-in Gamecube compatibility too, along with four ports for GameCube controllers. The Wii gave a lot of reasons to buy the console besides Wii games.

Wii owners also used the Gamecube controller for various Virtual Console and WiiWare titles as well.

Meanwhile, the also-versatile hybrid Switch console does not offer a Virtual Console yet. The success of the NES and SNES Classic is possibly putting a delay in those plans. Yet, it does feature an eShop with original titles. Just no NES/SNES classics.

Whether or not the Switch gets a Virtual Console though, the Wii Shop is ending.

Goodbye, Wii Shop.

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