You may have heard by now that I'm a Nintendo Brand Enthusiast. You may have heard because I won't shut up about it. Well, over the holidays I got a card from the fine people at Nintendo along with a card that carried something called "Nintendo Points."
Now, even though I use my Wii all the time and am aware that there are different "channels" available through the main Wii menu, I hadn't really explored them.
Well, it turns out that you can buy whole games at the Wii Shop Channel with your Nintendo Points. Kinda cool. And I had no idea. As long as you have an internet connection set up through your Wii (easy to do), you can browse and shop at the Wii Shop Channel.
But what's there, you ask? It turns out that there is a lot. You can download free demos of games (I downloaded a free demo of World of Goo) and whole games. You can save them either to your Wii hard drive or to an SD card you insert. Then you can access the games without a disc directly from the Wii menu.
I downloaded Frogger Returns, My Zoo, and My Aquarium. Oh, man. I was just looking at the whole list of available games and I kinda wish I'd seen Ant Nation. I might have to get that one. All the mayhem of an ant colony without the actual colony. (Yeah, I know that I'm a little bit of a nerd.)
I also downloaded Donkey Kong. Like, old school Donkey Kong. See, Nintendo has made some of the original great games from other gaming systems available so you can play them on your Wii with their "Virtual Console." I was just sad that they didn't have Joust, which I used to play on my Atari 400, and which ROCKED.
I do have to say that Donkey Kong, while a fun game, does not compare well to current games. Video games have come a long way in the past 30 years.
Each of the games I downloaded cost 500 Nintendo Points. The games I saw seemed to vary from 500 to 1500 or so points each. You can buy Nintendo Points for $10 per 1000. They are available in gift card form at various brick and mortar retailers, like 7-11, or you can use your credit card to buy them right on the Wii Shop Channel.
Kinda cool. I'm glad I discovered it.
Honesty Clause: Nintendo gave me 2000 Nintendo Points at no charge, which is a $20 value.