Nintendo is axing Wii streaming services

Eric Abent - Nov 9, 2018, 9:15 am CST
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Nintendo is axing Wii streaming services

Those of you still getting regular use out of your Wii should know that its days as a media hub are numbered. Nintendo has revealed that it will end support for streaming services on the Wii beginning early next year. With the Wii Shop Channel slated to go dark at the same time, it means that many of the online services some Wii users possibly still use will be getting the axe in one fell swoop.

According to a Netflix email sent to some users, Nintendo will end support for streaming services on the Wii on January 31, 2019. That’s the same day the Wii Shop channel will go offline, so if you still have any Wii Points associated with your account, you’ll want to spend them by then.

The Netflix-sent email was shared by a user on the Nintendo subreddit. “Unfortunately, Nintendo will suspend all video streaming services on Wii — including the Netflix Channel — after January 31, 2019,” it reads. “We hope you’ll soon enjoy an even better Netflix experience with additional features on a supported device. Please visit netflix.com/wii for our device list.”

While there are likely some folks out there who still use a Wii as a media box, it isn’t really the best device for it here in 2018. The Wii only outputs in 480p, so it’s a poor choice for streaming on an HDTV. There are definitely a great number of more capable devices that would be a better choice for streaming, and by now, most consumers probably own at least one of them.

Unfortunately, we can’t count the Switch among those better choices, at least not when it comes to streaming content from Netflix. Yesterday, a YouTube app finally appeared on the US eShop, making it only the second streaming app the Switch has received since launching in March 2017. The hope is that more streaming services – particularly Netflix – will follow, but at the moment, when (or even if) that might happen is up in the air.


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