Nintendo has finally announced that the Wii Shop will shut down in 2019. Since the online shop isn’t scheduled to shut down until January 31, 2019, customers still have ample time to plan for the closure.

Wii Shop channel
Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

Customers who want to add funds to use any particular service can do so only until March 27, 2018. This means that after March, you will not be allowed to buy any games for the Wii or Wii U via the online shop. Hard copies of games will be available for purchase, but there won’t be any digital distribution method available, according to Geeky Gadgets.

Nintendo has also mentioned that players will not be able to re-download any previously purchased Wii or Virtual Console games either. Content transfers will also be disabled from the Wii to the Wii U after a specified date.

“If you have Wii Points to spend and content you want to re-download or transfer from a Wii system to a Wii U system, we recommend you do so now while the services are still available,” Nintendo said in a post.

Nintendo’s Wii Shop debuted in December 2006 and has been the hub of over 200 virtual console games. Although most of the games are available on the Wii U eShop now, the titles such as Super Smash Bros are only available on the original Wii Shop. With the online shop shutting down, the most popular games will also be gone forever.

Nintendo announced its plans to close the Wii Shop shortly after launching the Super Nintendo Entertainment System: SNES Classic Edition, which has a string of popular games currently available on the Wii Shop’s Virtual Console. Some of the popular games include Contra III: The Alien Wars, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Castlevania IV, Donkey Kong Country and Final Fantasy III.

To our surprise, the Nintendo Switch does not have a virtual console service. Furthermore, there are a few classic games which have direct ports. Nintendo will launch its online service featuring NES and SNES games in 2018.

“Nintendo says the Switch will soon have the same Virtual Console library as available on the Wii when the Wii Store is closed,” tweeted CEO Kaz Hirai on Saturday.

Consequently, Nintendo will not allow players to purchase games outright, a decision which may disappoint players if or when the company decides to scrap the service.

The Nintendo Switch has proven to be a boon for video game sales this year. According to Britain’s GameSeek, this year so far has been tremendous for video game sales, with the “Switch launch being the main highlight.” Games Center managing director Robert Lindsay said this year has been better than expected and that the credit goes to the increased performance of Switch sales despite supply glitches, the DailyStar quoted.