Nintendo Points

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Nintendo Points
Denominations
Plural Nintendo Points
Banknotes
 Freq. used 1000 Nintendo Points
2000 Nintendo Points
3000 Nintendo Points (Not in Australia or New Zealand)
4000 Nintendo Points (Japan only)
5000 Nintendo Points (North America and Japan only)
7500 Nintendo Points (Comes with a Classic Controller)
Demographics
User(s) Wii Shop Channel
Nintendo DSi Shop
Issuance
Central bank Nintendo

Nintendo Points are a virtual currency that Nintendo uses for its Wii and Nintendo DSi systems through the Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop respectively. Consumers can purchase points by an online credit card transaction or by purchasing a Nintendo Points Card at retail stores.

Nintendo Points were originally named Wii Points, with the introduction of the Nintendo DSi and its own download service, they were renamed, and new Nintendo Points Cards with new values were distributed.[1] Once purchased, Nintendo Points must be converted into either Wii Points or Nintendo DSi Points before they can be used, locking the points for use on one platform only,[2] it is possible to use older Wii Points Card prints to redeem Nintendo Points.

The Nintendo Points currency system is not supported by the Nintendo eShop, which was introduced with the launch of the Nintendo 3DS in 2011, the Wii U in 2012, as well as Nintendo's subsequent consoles like the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo Points became fully obsolete on the Nintendo DSi when its native online store closed in March 2017; in the case of Wii U, the console continues to provide legacy support for Nintendo Points via Wii Mode, which allows access to the Wii Shop Channel. In Japan and Europe, it is possible to use Nintendo eShop pre-paid cards to redeem Nintendo Points on the Wii's online store, and formerly on the Nintendo DSi's online store.[3]

Redeeming points[edit]

Nintendo Points are redeemed through the Wii Shop Channel or the Nintendo DSi Shop, with Nintendo Points Cards, there is a concealed panel on the back of the card which, when scratched, reveals a code. The code is then entered on to the Wii Shop Channel or Nintendo DSi Shop and the requisite number of Nintendo Points are added to the user's account. Points can also be purchased directly through the Wii Shop Channel or Nintendo DSi Shop using a credit card,[4] these points may then be redeemed on downloadable games and other content in the Wii Shop Channel or the Nintendo DSi Shop, but are not interchangeable between the two systems.[5] In other words, when one redeems their points on one of the two consoles, they are locked to that same console and cannot be transferred to or used on the other. Also, there are some Wiiware-only games that have add-on content that the player can buy with their Wii Points (for example, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King).

On December 8, 2006, Nintendo Europe announced that Star Points, which people collect when they buy first-party Nintendo DS and Wii games in Europe, would be able to be used to buy Nintendo Points,[6] on December 7, 2007, the Nintendo Points Card Shop was launched which allows users to purchase virtual Nintendo Points cards with values of 100, 300, 500, 1000, or 2000 Nintendo Points;[7] the shop has faced criticism for going "out of stock" of the virtual product.

Pricing and conditions[edit]

At retail, Nintendo Points Cards are generally sold in the form of codes on scratch-cards providing 1000, 2000, or 3000 Nintendo Points (in Japan, there is a card which provides 5000 Nintendo Points), these codes are region-locked and cannot be used in systems of other regions. Pricing for the points varies by retailer: they may charge a premium above the normal pricing (below) or may clear old stock at a discount. When purchased in either the Wii Shop Channel or Nintendo DSi Shop, Nintendo Points have fixed prices that will not vary except by region.

When bought via either the Wii Shop Channel or the Nintendo DSi Shop, 1000 Nintendo Points cost US$10 in the United States, 10 in Europe, £7 for Wii points (£9 for DSi points) in the United Kingdom, and ¥1000 in Japan. When bought retail, the original Nintendo Points Cards, which had values of 2000 Nintendo Points, cost US$19.99 in the United States, €24.99 in Europe, £19.99 in the United Kingdom and A$34.99 in Australia.

Purchasable content[edit]

Nintendo Points are used to purchase a variety of software on the Wii Shop Channel which is divided into two sections: Virtual Console for older games, and WiiWare for new games designed specifically for Wii, they can also be used to purchase games and applications from the Nintendo DSiWare section of the Nintendo DSi Shop.

Virtual Console[edit]

The Virtual Console lineup consists of titles originally released on past consoles, these titles are run in their original forms through software emulation.

Prices[edit]

The starting prices of the Virtual Console games depend on the system for which the game was originally developed, some titles, usually import titles, cost slightly more than these base prices.[8] All prices below are in Wii Points (100 Points = $1). Wiiware games vary from 500 (Family Ping Pong) to 1000 (Dr. Mario Online RX) to 1500 (Pokémon Rumble).

Original Format Default Price Premium Price Other Prices
NES/Famicom 500 600 400 (South Korea)
SNES/Super Famicom 800 900 600 (South Korea)
Nintendo 64 1000 1200 800 (South Korea)
Sega Genesis/Mega Drive 800 900 600 (Japan)
TurboGrafx-16/PC-Engine 600 700 800 (Europe/North America)
TurboGrafx-CD/Super CD-ROM² System 800 900
Neo-Geo 900
Sega Master System/Sega Game Gear 500 600
MSX (Japan only) 700
Commodore 64 (North America and PAL regions only) 500
Virtual Console Arcade 500 1000 800 (Japan)
Note: Most premium games are imports from other regions.

Wii Channels[edit]

All Wii Channels currently available in the Wii Shop Channel are free of charge, the final version of the Internet Channel, a modified Opera web browser, became available on April 11, 2007 and was free until June 30, 2007. After that period, the browser had a price of 500 Wii Points,[9] on September 1, 2009, the Internet Channel was updated to include improved Adobe Flash support and was once again made free.[10] Those who had purchased the Internet Channel for 500 Wii Points would be given a free NES Virtual Console purchase (not a refund) between October 1 and December 31, 2009.

Nintendo DSiWare[edit]

Nintendo DSiWare was the only section of the Nintendo DSi Shop and was where downloadable games and applications can be found for purchase using Nintendo DSi Points. Unlike in the Wii Shop Channel, Nintendo DSiWare had fixed price points: DSiWare Free, DSiWare 200, DSiWare 500, and DSiWare 800+.

Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Pay & Play[edit]

A number of Wii and WiiWare games feature additional downloadable content which are purchased using Wii Points, some of these games include Mega Man 9 and LONPOS on WiiWare, as well as Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero 5 on Wii. Though these games use an in-game interface to purchase content, the user must have previously bought the necessary Nintendo Points through the Wii Shop Channel. Whilst distribution of all free download content in other Wi-Fi Connection games was terminated as of May 20, 2014, Pay & Play download content continues to be available.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "DSi digital content shop announced". MCVUK. 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2009-12-01. 
  2. ^ "Nintendo Points Are Either Wii Points Or DSi Points, Not Both". Siliconera. 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  3. ^ "Mario and Link Make eShop Cards Look Good". Nintendo Life. 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  4. ^ Nintendo. "Virtual Console at Nintendo :: Wii. Step 4". 
  5. ^ Melanson, Donald (2008-10-08). "Nintendo Points won't make the leap between Wii and DSi". Engadget. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  6. ^ "Europe buy Wii points with stars". Kotaku. 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2006-12-08. 
  7. ^ "Europeans Can Now Trade Star Points For Wii Points". Kotaku. 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  8. ^ "Live at Nintendo's NYC Wii press conference". Engadget. 2006-09-14. Retrieved 2006-11-20. 
  9. ^ "In-Depth Regional Wii Coverage". wii.nintendo.com. Nintendo. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  10. ^ Nintendo now offering Wii Internet Channel for free | GamesIndustry International. Gamesindustry.biz (2009-09-01). Retrieved on 2013-08-23.