Nintendo to shut down Wii Shop Channel in 2019

Nintendo announced today that on January 30th, 2019 they will shut down the Wii’s digital store, the Wii Shop Channel.

Home to hundreds of Virtual Console classics and WiiWare games, the Wii shop will have lasted nearly 13 years since its November 2006 launch.

I still remember struggling to download Super Mario 64 on Christmas Day 2006 by using my neighbor’s slow WiFi connection.

Players will no longer be able to purchase games after this date but Nintendo says players will be able to re-download games they had already purchased for some time after that.

Sadly, this is the biggest argument against digital game distribution. At some point the online stores for PS3 and Xbox 360 will close too. How do we, as an industry, manage our digital games if they have a finite shelf life? As someone who just started experiencing some disc rot on my original Ps1 games from 20 years ago, 12-13 years seems to short but the cost of keeping up a service fee use can add up.

Goodbye Wii Shop Channel, we will miss you.