Farewell, Wii Shop Channel: Should We Worry?

Farewell, Wii Shop Channel: Should We Worry?
(Source: Nintendo)

The days of Wii Shop Channel are nearly at an end. Come January 2019, the channel will be gone, with Nintendo switching its support to other platforms.

Now, the ending of a service isn’t always a travesty. Sometimes it’s just no longer necessary. And according to Nintendo, their focus will be going toward more regularly used systems. But does that mean things are okay? We don’t lose everything, but we do lose some things. And there are other things we don’t know about yet.

So, which is it? Let’s find out.

Reasons Not To Worry

(Source:  Nintendo)

Don’t want to lose access to your purchases? No worries — you can transfer them to the WiiU! You’ll have the next year or so to do this via the Wii System Transfer Tool. Of course, this will also be discontinued eventually, so the sooner you do it, the better.

Also good? You can still spend your WiiPoints (for now). So you have a chance to grab things you want and transfers them over. WiiPoints aren’t refundable, so again — you may want to do this sooner rather than later.

That’s about all the good news so far.

Reasons To Worry

Okay, here we go.

So, you won’t be losing access to what you already bought. And a lot of games currently available via the Wii Shop Channel will be available on the WiiU, 3DS, and Switch. But… not all of them.

Polygon has compiled a list of 226 classic games that will no longer be available for sale at all once the channel closes. Many aren’t exactly high-profile titles. But if you enjoyed shopping for golden oldies… you’d better do it fast. Fortunately, the new plug-and-play SNES preserves a handful of these, which Polygon has kindly indicated in their list.

There’s also one more tiny issue: streaming services. Fans have been asking if Netflix, Hulu, and others will be affected. And that’s a genuine worry. While the Wii may not be the family room Summoning Stone it once was, many do still use it as the connectivity point for streaming video.

As to that point, Nintendo has said it has “nothing to announce”. So… those who use Wiis for streaming services may want to look for another option soon, just to be safe.

For Nintendo, who seem uninterested in backwards compatibility, this is something we really need to learn to expect. Save for nostalgia releases, there will likely come a point when every system they make will become less — then not at all — supported.

What do you think of the new move? Let us know in the comments!



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