Since at least March 16th we’ve seen reports that the Wii Shop and DSi Shop channels were returning errors. Browsing the shops has been disabled since Nintendo shut them down years ago but their promise of being able to re-download previous purchases had always held, seemingly until now. Evidence mounted as emulation communities noted that Nintendo’s servers, where the games are stored, were still accessible and only the frontend interfaces had apparently been disabled.
Now after more than a week Nintendo has responded to Eurogamer on the issue, stating only that “the Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop are currently undergoing maintenance. We will provide an update at a later date.”
The brief communique isn’t entirely reassuring but at least Nintendo didn’t state that the functionality had already been retired. The company has so far been generous regarding their plans to shut down digital shops and maintain the ability to re-download past purchases. Of course, their plans have always been to remove this functionality “in the future” so once service is restored it might be a good time to make sure you’ve got everything downloaded that you want to keep around.
On a related note, we’ve heard that the 3DS Transfer Tool, which allows you to make a one-time migration of your purchases from DSi to 3DS, had previously been removed from the DSi Shop. When the current service is restored you may no longer be able to move from DSi to 3DS but your DSi purchases should once again be accessible. Word has it that the Wii-to-Wii U transfer tool is still available for those consoles. Finally, we’ve also heard that Nintendo Support may be able to facilitate moving some content from one console to another, although we wouldn’t expect them to offer this for your entire collection of purchases.
Thanks to everyone who pointed out this news and provided updates over the last week. Here’s hoping the DSi and Wii functionality is restored sooner rather than later.