The Wii Shop Channel is the predecessor of the Nintendo eShop, and it was Nintendo’s very first proper digital distribution service. It was home to many digital-only games on Wii, including the infamous Virtual Console, which allowed players to download games from previous consoles. Unfortunately, it’s all coming to an end in 2019.
Here’s the planning for this discontinuation:
- Adding Wii Points: March 26th (12.59PM PDT / 3.59PM EDT / 9.59PM CEST / 8.59PM BST) / March 27th (4.59AM JST)
- Purchasing Wii Ware and Virtual Console titles: January 30th, 2019 (10.59PM PDT) / January 31st, 2019 (1.59AM EDT / 6.59AM BST / 7.59AM CEST / 2.59PM JST)
Just like when the Nintendo DSi Shop was discontinued, there will be a refund procedure for unused Wii Points, Wii Point pre-paid cards, and Nintendo Points pre-paid cards, at least in Japan. More details about that will be shared at a later date, though we can expect it to work the same way.
A quick note about pre-paid cards: recent cards, that allow you to add funds on both the Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo eShop, are not impacted by this. After all, you can redeem them on the Nintendo eShop of the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and even Nintendo Switch. Basically, if your pre-paid card doesn’t mention only “points”, you’re all good!
Naturally, users who have already purchased games on the Wii Shop Channel will be available to re-download them at any time and transfer them to a Wii U, even after the Wii Shop Channel is discontinued. However, this will not last forever: at one point, even those features will be discontinued, so make sure to back up your games if you can.
And yes, you will be able to keep playing games purchased forever, as long as you don’t delete them from your Wii / Wii U. Of course, that doesn’t apply to games/services that have been discontinued (or will be in the future).