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While the Nintendo Switch continues to build an impressive library of video games, and slowly begins to lure in non-gaming apps to its line-up of available software, the previous generation Nintendo devices are slowly beginning to lose access to their streaming services, as Nintendo begins to routinely get rid of the Wii's apps.
TechRadar reports that Nintendo is axing support for the streaming apps on the Wii. This comes in connection with Netflix sending out a letter to Wii users notifying them that the app will no longer be available on the Wii starting January 31st, 2019.
Netflix isn't the only one leaving the Wii's app repository. Other apps are also leaving the platform as well, including Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Amazon Prime.
These services going kaput on the Wii will only affect the Wii. The Wii U will supposedly not be affected by these changes. So if you still have the apps installed on the device, you'll still be able to use them without any problems.
All of the streaming apps being removed from the Wii coincides with Nintendo also shutting down the Wii Shop Channel in early 2019. So all the online apps and services will shut down anyway.
It's not all bad news, though, if you're a Nintendo fan. If you've already switched over to the Switch then you're in good hands when it comes to some of the video streaming apps. There's Hulu, which launched for the Switch back in 2017 and was one of the first non-gaming apps that Nintendo allowed on the Switch. Just recently, Nintendo managed to allow the YouTube app to go live on the Switch, which you can download right now for free.
With Hulu and YouTube on the Switch, there are now rumors beginning to spread that Netflix may soon find its way onto the Switch as well. Since last year, a number of people have been asking about the streaming app appearing on Nintendo's hybrid console. But there was a lot of deflection whenever the topic came up, mostly because, at the time, Nintendo wanted to focus on first-party software and courting third-party studios. The efforts have mostly paid off, with companies like Epic Games bringing over Fortnite and Psyonix bringing over Rocket League, both of which support cross-play compatibility.
So while the Wii's services begin to wind down, the Switch's services are beginning to grow and expand. Netflix still hasn't quite confirmed any release on the Switch, but we know for sure that the streaming service -- along with Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and every other major streaming app -- will cease to function after January 2019 on the original Wii.
It wasn't a bad run for the system, given that it came out way back in 2006 and has been supported by said services for the last 12 years. Typically, game consoles are supported at a max for maybe a decade, with the longest generation being the seventh, which extended from 2005 up until 2013.
With the Wii prepping to finally have all of its services retired, don't be surprised if the Wii U will be receiving those same messages about app support coming to a close sometime in the near future.