The Wii Shop Channel allows the user to be able to add “channels” to the front end of the Wii, purchase classic console games through the Virtual Console and purchase new original WiiWare titles all with Nintendo Points.
Wii Shop Channel
Nintendo Points Card
Currency system used by Nintendo to buy downloadable (DLC) games and channels online for the Wii Console and the Nintendo DSI. you can buy points cards form most major retailers as well as use your Visa or MasterCard to purchase points online.
These are non-game channels that can provide weather and news updates, share your avatars (Miis), participate in contests, edit photos and vote in polls. There is a Nintendo Channel where you can watch videos, interviews and commercials as well as downloading demos and rate games you have played. The Internet Channel is also available for 500 Wii Points allowing users to browse the World Wide Web via a custom Opera web browser. There is also many channels that can be added through games and add on devices such as Wii Fit Channel, Mario Kart Channel, and the Wii Speak Channel.
The Virtual Console is where Wii owners can download classic console games to be played on the Nintendo Wii. You can get many great Nintendo titles as well as classics from other consoles for anywhere between 500 and 1300 Nintendo Points. (See console list below)
- NES / Famicom
- Super NES / Super Famicom
- Nintendo 64
- Sega Master System
- Mega Drive/Genesis
- TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine/DUO
- Neo Geo
- Commodore 64 (Europe and North America only)
- MSX (Japan only)
The Virtual Console is a major selling point for the console for many people because of the availability of many rare and hard to find titles. Akumajo Dracula X: Chi no Rondo is a great example of one such game that was until recently never released outside Japan and highly regarded as being one of the best games in the Castlevania series. To get this game for the PC Engine DUO from places like eBay you could pay $80 – $120 U.S. but you can pick it up on the Virtual Console for a fraction of the cost. In fact you could buy a Wii console and get all the TurboGrafx-16 / DUO games available for download for next to nothing compared to what the real hardware and games would cost. Since the 2.0 system upgrade you can move your Virtual Console games off the internal memory to be stored and played off a SD card.
WiiWare - WiiWare games are new original games made for the Wii or ported to the console that were never released on a retro console. The main focus of the WiiWare channel is to give companies a way of making games for the console that might not do well at full retail price. There are many great remakes and sequels available through the WiiWare channel. Konami has launched a “ReBirth” line of games of some of there most popular retro titles such as Contra, Castlevania and Gradius. Capcom has made Mega Man 9 and 10 staying true to the original 8 bit games and SQUARE ENIX ported over Final Fantasy IV: The After Years a sequel to FFIV originally only available in Japan as a mobile game.