Nintendo begins killing off the Wii Shop channel next year

Nintendo has revealed that it will be shutting down one of the cornerstones of Wii: the Wii Shop channel. The good news is that the shut down isn't going to happen for a while yet, though Nintendo will begin winding it down early next year. If you have any titles you'd like to purchase on the Wii Shop then, it's probably best you buy them up sooner rather than later.

In a new support page on Nintendo's Japanese site, the company reveals that it will stop letting players add Wii Points to their account on March 27, 2018. You'll then have until January 31, 2019 to spend any remaining points associated with your account. On that date, the Wii Shop will shut down for good, preventing you from purchasing any new Wiiware or Virtual Console titles.

You also won't be able to access the Wii Shop channel through the Wii U after that date. You'll still be able to re-download any Wiiware or Virtual Console titles you already own, but Nintendo also plans to eventually end this functionality. Presumably, that functionality will end sometime after the Wii Shop channel is shut down, but Nintendo doesn't have a solid date that particular wind down just yet.

When the Wii Shop channel is shut down in 2019, Nintendo says that it will refund any remaining Wii Points sitting in customer accounts. How it will do that is unknown at this point, and it seems even Nintendo is unclear on how this will happen, as it says it will share additional details once it has decided on the course of action.

So, while this is certainly sad news for people who still surf the Wii Virtual Console to find classic games, it's not all that surprising. With Nintendo putting all of its focus into the Switch at the moment, it makes sense that it would start sunsetting Wii services, especially since the console was discontinued a few years back. Will you miss the Wii Shop channel? Head down to the comments section and let us know!