Wii Points® are a type of virtual currency used to purchase items for a Wii™ gaming system. They can be bought on physical gift cards or online directly via the Wii™ console. Users can redeem the points for older games, including classics from Nintendo®, Coleco® or Sega®. It's often cheaper to buy old games with Wii Points® than with currency, but there are limitations on the way the points can be used. Additionally, many of the games available for download have different standards of graphics and game play than newer games.
How to Get Points
Electronics and gaming stores sell Nintendo Points and Wii Points® in the form of gift cards, usually starting with about 2,000 points per card. Nintendo Points can be redeemed either for use on the Nintendo DSI™ or on a Wii™; once they are redeemed on one system, however, the points are tied to that system and cannot be used on the other. Wii Points® are also available for purchase on the Internet via the Wii Shop Channel on the console.
Internet Connection Required
Wii™ owners can only access Wii Points® when the system is connected to the Internet — if the owner does not have an Internet connection, then there's no point in purchasing points. Those buying points for someone else as a gift should make sure that the recipient's Wii™ is connected to the Internet or they will not be usable. Games bought with points are stored on the Wii™ itself, however, so once they are downloaded, they can be played without an active Internet connection.
Points can be used to purchase games that can be sent as a gift directly to another user via the Wii™ console. To do this, both the giver and receiver's systems must be connected to the Internet, they must be in the same country, and they must have each other's Wii™ numbers in their address books. Gifts given in this way can also be declined or returned.
Redeemable for Old Games
Gamers who are connected to the Internet can visit the Wii Shop Channel, which allows them to look at a variety of games available for purchase with points. There are several ways to search for games to purchase: by system, by new titles added to the queue, or by looking through the entire list of available games. The oldest games cost about 500 points, and newer ones may be between 800 and 1,000 points. The Wii™ also needs to have enough memory to hold the games before they can be downloaded, so those who plan to buy a lot of classic games may need to add extra memory to the system.
Playing Old Games on a New System
Though the graphics of the old games are often inferior to modern ones, those classics are often sought after by those who remember the old racing, adventure, sports, or run-and-shoot games. They are sometimes more popular with the parents of young Wii® owners who want to revisit the classic video games they played when they were younger. It may take some adjustments to figure out how to use the game controller to get the best results, but most games offer instructions on how to work the newer controllers to play older games.