The original Wii is more than six years old, so it should come as no surprise that Nintendo is keen to start closing some of its most basic Internet services.
A notice to customers published on the video game giant’s website reveals that six channels available from the Wii menu will be shuttered as of June 28 in Japan.
The affected services are the Weather Channel, Digicam Print Channel, Mii Contest Channel, News Channel, Everyone’s Nintendo Channel and Channel “vote with everyone”.
WiiConnect24, which allows players to stay connected to the Internet even when the console is on standby, will also be closed. The feature is currently used to receive messages from other Wii consoles, Miis, emails, updated channel and game content, as well as timely reminders for system updates.
It is unclear at this point whether Nintendo plans to stop supporting these services in other regions, however. Presumably, the services will also cease to be available from the Wii app available on the new Nintendo Wii U console.
The company said it was “sorry to everyone” that wanted to continue using the channels, and thanked Nintendo Wii owners for their understanding.
The closure of various Wii channels can be upsetting, but not unexpected. Nintendo needs to focus on its latest generation of hardware, the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U, and would be naive to focus all of its attention on existing platforms.
Nintendo needs to double-down on Wii U
The Wii U has a had rocky start and part of the problem is undoubtedly app support. Streaming services such as Netflix and LoveFilm have made the jump, but aside from Google Street View, players have been offered very little to download and explore.
Compared with the wide range of apps on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, that’s a big problem for anyone that is considering the system as a secondary streaming or set-top box. Nintendo TVii, a second-screen app for the tablet controller, is yet to be released internationally, for instance.
The Nintendo Wii was a huge success and cutting support for the system might irritate die-hard consumers in the short-term. If it encourages greater adoption of its new platforms, however, that’s no bad move for Nintendo.
Image via FREDERIC J. BROWN/Getty Images
Published April 12, 2013 — 09:30 UTC