The Nintendo Wii Shop Channel will be shut down in early 2019, ending the run of the service which was launched for the Nintendo Wii consoles in December 2006.
Everybody saw it coming, however, as Nintendo is understandably shifting its focus to its new products, especially to the massively successful Nintendo Switch.
Goodbye, Nintendo Wii Shop Channel
On its support website, Nintendo said that it is planning to shut down the Wii Shop Channel early next year, specifically on Jan. 30, 2019.
According to Nintendo, players will still be able to add Wii Points, the currency used in the Wii Shop Channel, until March 26, 2018. They will also be able to purchase content right until the last day of the Wii Shop Channel.
Nintendo added that in the future, without providing any definite date, it will also be closing all the services related to the Wii Shop Cannel, including redownloading WiiWare, accessing Virtual Console games, and the Wii Channel. The Wii System Transfer Tool, which transfers data from the Nintendo Wii to the Nintendo Wii U, will also be terminated.
Nintendo urges players to spend all their Wii points, re-download all the content that they purchased, and transfer all data from a Nintendo Wii unit to a Nintendo Wii U unit while the services are still online.
"Thank you for supporting the Wii Shop Channel and for being such great fans of Nintendo," the company said to end its statement.
Hello, Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Wii Shop Channel, which will be over 12 years old once it shuts down, was launched before the Nintendo eShop, which is currently being used by Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch gamers.
It is actually surprising that Nintendo has kept the Nintendo Wii Shop Channel open for this long, especially as the company already started to retire parts of the Nintendo Wii as far back as 2013. However, with the Nintendo Switch seemingly on track to take over the throne of Nintendo Wii as Nintendo's best-selling console, it is fitting for the company to move on from the Nintendo Wii and instead focus all its efforts on the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo Switch sales for August were better than those for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, marking the fourth time in the previous six months that the hybrid console was able to achieve that feat. Whether Nintendo can maintain that momentum into the lucrative holiday shopping season remains to be seen though, as a Nintendo Switch supply shortage still looms on the horizon.