You might be surprised to learn the Netflix app on Nintendo’s 2006 Wii console is still active. Not for much longer, however. The company recently announced support for the Wii app will be suspended on January 30, 2019.

UN-coincidentally, January 30 also happens to be the day Nintendo themselves will be shutting down the Wii Shop Channel and all remaining servers dedicated to their gazillion-selling gadget. The wider truth is that every streaming app ever released for Wii will cease to work after that point — Netflix is just the only one of them to bother admitting it.

We live in the Peak TV age partly because Wii laid a crucial foundation for Netflix’s world domination scheme. When the Wii took off in the mid-2000s, Netflix was still primarily a DVD-by-mail rental company. No one had a smart TV. A good chunk of the US was still watching standard-definition programs. Barely anyone knew what an “app” was. BUT…..they DID have a Wii in their living room.

Netflix exploited this new technology to introduce US families to streaming television. A special Wii disc was provided by the company….once it arrived in the mail and booted up, customers could use the Wii to access Netflix’s streaming library. For a while, the Wii was a very popular streaming device, to the point that it was the only reason some people still had one plugged in.

In 2013 Nintendo finally allowed a Netflix channel on Wii, but by then, every other console had the service and so did the Wii U.  The Netflix Wii disc is a weird footnote in TV history. You can technically still use it, but only for two more months.

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