Newest Review: ... Nintendo fan. Like Microsoft and Sony with their online stores, these points cards can be bought in shops and again like Microsoft... more
The stumbling block to former glories
Nintendo 2000 Wii Points
Member Name: hamm_sandwich
Nintendo 2000 Wii Points
Advantages: So many great games to buy!
Disadvantages: Not being able to use real money..
Wii Points is the currency with which you can buy content from the Nintendo Wii's online hub. The two places where these points can be used are Wii Ware, which is the home for all new downloadable games and the other is the Virtual Console which is the home of retro Nintendo, where a large selection of older games can be bought and they are divided by console, which includes Nintendo's own NES, Super NES, Nintendo 64 as well as Sega's Master System and Mega Drive as well as others.
The main attraction here is Nintendo's SNES and N64 games which, unlike Sega's back catalogue have not been part of any compilation package and the opportunity to play the likes of Mario Kart 64, Pilotwings and Lylatwars again on a home console is a huge bonus for any hardened Nintendo fan.
Like Microsoft and Sony with their online stores, these points cards can be bought in shops and again like Microsoft, these points replace sterling for buying games. The problem with these cards is the price, i've yet to find them available for anything approaching the price of buying them directly from Nintendo through your Wii where 1,000 points can be bought for £7.00. In gaming stores, the cards are usually found in 2,000 point values but generally range from £18 to £20. This makes the Wii as the obvious choice for points except for the fact that not all payment cards are accepted (Maestro) and it could be seen to exclude younger gamers without credit cards.
I should point out that as an XBOX gamer i'd previously been reluctant to put my card details on that console as it's not possible to delete them off and together with the 360's reliability issues I was uncomfortable putting in my personal details. Thankfully, with the Wii, the machine doesn't store your details and requires entry every time so there isn't any risk with buying them this way.
The price of games through the Virtual Console is easy to remember and is set by console. NES and Master System games cost 500 points, SNES and Mega Drive games are set at 800 and N64 games are 1,000 points which is £7.00 if bought through the Wii. There are a couple of exceptions such as games that weren't released in the UK like Super Mario RPG on the SNES which costs 900 instead of 800 points but the rule is generally sound.
As someone who owns an XBOX 360, the Sega games hold little appeal for me as they can be had for less and look better through the HD console but the Nintendo games are a real draw because they haven't been re-released and unless you have the original consoles or an emulator, this is the only way to play them.
Since purchasing my Wii, i've taken great pleasure in arranging my dream line-up of games, with each download filling a Wii Channel which is the access point for all content on the home menu. These channels can be shuffled around and i've enjoyed shuffling my games around to give me the chronology of Mario from Super Mario Bros. to Paper Mario. Now, all they need to do is hurry up and bring out Super Mario Kart and Yoshi's Island.
The currency itself is a bit rubbish as you just end up converting the value of items to real money in your head anyway but until Nintendo change their mind, it's the only gateway to so many wonderful old games and for me it's a price worth paying.
Summary: Buy them through your Wii.