The requiem for the Wii has begun, as Nintendo starts shutting down online services


The video game industry is good at many things, but preservation is not one of them. Peripherals and controllers are built to be affordable, not to last. Old games are licensed for digital release, but the vagaries of digital licensing don’t guarantee the game’s availability forever, negating any ownership the player thought they had. The end of the current console cycle is introducing a new element to the preservation mix: The death of what consoles can do. Someone who plugs in a Super Nintendo can still have the same general experience that they had in 1993, but the Wii owners of 2033 won’t be able to say the same.

Nintendo issued a statement in the US, Europe, and Japan on Friday confirming that a number of online services for the Nintendo Wii will stop working on Jun. 28. Topping the list are a number of the Channels that figured so promptly into Nintendo’s early, awkward vision of what an Internet-connected console would be: The Forecast Channel, News Channel, and promotional Nintendo Channel will all go off the air. Proto-Miiverse social features like the Check Mii Out and Everybody Votes Channels will also be taken offline.

The Wii Shop Channel for buying Virtual Console and WiiWare games will remain open for the time being, but their days are certainly numbered.

These features were inevitably going to die. Nintendo’s online infrastructure was so haphazardly conceived when the Wii came out in 2006 that it wasn’t even able to integrate the Wii Shop with the Wii U eShop when that console released in 2012. There are more significant changes than those entertainments, though.

As of Jun. 28, Wii owners will no longer be able to exchange Mii characters and messages via the Wii Message Board or Mii Channel in the game. Two of the fundamental social features of the console will be rendered inert, changing the shape of Nintendo’s famous console.

Shutting down these features won’t stop the nostalgic players of the future from slapping together new Mii characters and playing some Wii Sports, though. They can even do those things right on the Wii U. These changes are representative of what’s going to happen to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii over the coming years as well. Past consoles didn’t truly die, companies just stopped making them and selling them. These machines, defined as they are by online services, will actually die, at least in part.


‘Kingdom Hearts III’ out in the wild, director asks for support to stop spoilers

Kingdom Hearts III has been leaked, with several copies of the game out in the wild. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, responded to the situation, calling for help from gamers to stop spoilers from spreading online.

Walmart slashes the price of the Fitbit Versa smartwatch before Christmas

If you're scrambling to find some great last-minute gifts, Fitbit watches are being discounted online from Walmart. If you were looking to gift a smartwatch, take advantage of Walmart's holiday deals while supplies last.

Acer Swift 7 vs. Apple MacBook Air

The Acer Swift 7 accomplishes its goal of being the world's thinnest notebook, and it's well-built to boot. But is that enough to take on the Apple MacBook Air in terms of being the better to actually use?

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.

The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.

Project Stream testers get to keep a free copy of ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

Those who participated in Google's technical test of Project Stream won't be able to access the service to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey after January 15, but they'll get to keep the game on PC anyway.

Newest ‘Destiny 2’ raid already completed by two-person team

The latest raid in Destiny 2: Forsaken is Scourge of the Past, and a two-person team has already managed to complete it. The task took 15 hours of trial-and-error effort before the duo managed to take down the final boss.

The 25 best SNES games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games, including A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger.

Need a discounted Xbox bundle by Christmas? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.

‘Fortnite’ update 7.10 brings a rotating selection of modes big and small

The latest update for Fortnite introduces 14 Days of Fortnite, an event that brings back large and small battle royale modes as well as brand new ones to enjoy during the holiday season.

New Xbox consoles are reportedly code-named ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Lockhart’

Microsoft's next-generation Xbox plans reportedly consist of two separate consoles. One, called "Lockhart," is a more affordable machine, while "Anaconda" is designed with more horsepower.