Nintendo’s Wii Shop is closing for good – here’s how to save all your games

Nintendo’s Wii Shop is closing for good – here’s how to save all your games
The Nintendo Wii released in 2006 and over 100 millions were sold worldwide (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Nintendo Wii is well over 10 years years old, having first been released in the UK in December 2006.

The console’s sheer popularity means that many still have one nestled under the TV, ready for an impromptu game of Wii Sports.

But Nintendo have released two consoles since the mid-2000s, and the original Wii was discontinued a few years ago.

Now, the console’s online services are going the way of the Dodo, including its Wii Shop Channel, where users could buy and download digital games.

From Thursday 31 January, all of the Wii’s online features will cease to work.

Here’s what to do to get the most from the last couple of weeks of its life.

Clear your media apps

Alongside playing games, the Wii had the capability to serve as a media hub, with apps like Netflix and BBC iPlayer allowing users to stream video content.

Most of these have already fallen by the wayside and no longer work, but as of 31 January, even the long-ailing Netflix won’t operate.

So delete those apps off your console. It will save you some space on the machine’s internal memory.

Re-download your games

With the Wii Shop Channel closed, you’ll no longer be able to re-download any games you’d previously purchased, but had since deleted from the console.

So if you’ve got a favourite title in your purchasing history, you may want to make an effort to search it out and get it installed on your Wii once more.

nintendo wii u shutterstock
The more recent Wii U can also play original Nintendo Wii games (Photo: Shutterstock)

That way, you’ll be able to continue playing it even once the Wii’s online services have ceased operating.

Transfer your games to a Wii U

Nintendo fans might find themselves with more than one of the Japanese gaming giant’s consoles, including the Wii U, released in late-2012 as a successor to the original Wii.

If that’s the case, you might want to transfer your games over to the newer console.

Thanks to some ingenious engineering, the Wii U also plays all of the games released for the first Wii, so they’ll run just as well as they did before, but on a more modern machine.

For detailed instructions on how to transfer your games, Nintendo have put together a step-by-step guide.

Spend your Wii Points

Wii Points were the Wii’s form of virtual currency, which you bought with real money in order to be able to purchase games through the online store.

As with everything else, they’ll no longer work come the end of the month, so even if your account’s balance amounts to a fairly substantial sum of real-world money, it will simply vanish on 31 January.

nintendo switch shutterstock
The Switch is Nintendo’s newest console, and can be played at home or on the go (Photo: Shutterstock)

With that being the case, now seems like as good a time as any to splash out on any games you’ve missed over the last 12 years.

You’ll be losing that points balance anyway, so you might as well treat yourself.

Buy a Nintendo Switch

Of course, even the Wii U is obsolete now, overtaken by the Nintendo Switch in 2017.

That console allows you to play games both at home and on the go, with a built in screen that lets you take the Switch on the bus, and play games just as you would sat on your couch.

It’s a brilliant piece of kit, with an already impressive library of games, so why not treat yourself to Nintendo’s latest console?

It won’t solve the problems raised by the Wii’s online features going offline, but you’ll be brought into the modern age of gaming, with plenty of similar, family-friendly experiences to enjoy.