Some news that may upset many Nintendo fans out there is that the eShops are set to close for the 3DS and Wii U in March 2023. And not only that, but there are no current plans to offer “classic content” outside of Nintendo Switch Online memberships – it’s almost like the end of an era.
Nintendo will start to strip the online shop’s support from both platforms towards the end of the year, and from the end of May 2022, customers will no longer be able to use credit cards to add funds to an existing account. And even more news, from the end of August, users will not be able to use those eShop cards to add funds either.
Nintendo did add that even with these new changes, 3DS and Wii U users will still be able to redownload games and DLC, still play online titles and receive software updates after the March 2023 date, with Nintendo saying that “this is all part of the natural console lifecycle.” There’s something quite sad about that.
What Nintendo is saying about the 3DS and Wii U eShops closing
Representatives from Nintendo had this to say on their support page, “As of late March next year, it will no longer be possible to make purchases in the Nintendo eShop for the Wii U system and the 3DS family systems. On top of that, it will no longer be possible to download free content, this includes game demos as well.”
There was also talk in a Q&A section (which has since been deleted) about why Nintendo won’t be making classic titles available as well. There have been so many that it seems a shame to make this decision.
There was a screenshot posted on Twitter with Nintendo’s response to their own Q&A, “Doesn’t Nintendo have an obligation to preserve its classic games by continually making them available for purchase?” it sounds like a very argumentative contradiction, doesn’t it? But I guess they have spoken, even if it doesn’t make much sense.
— AmericanTruckSongs8 (@ethangach) February 16, 2022
Nintendo’s response to their own question was, “Across our Nintendo Switch Online membership plans, over 130 classic games are currently available in growing libraries for various legacy systems. The games are often enhanced with new features such as online play,” So, they have spoken it seems, even if it doesn’t make much sense.
The fact that the 3DS and Wii U eShops will close is part and parcel of the gaming industry and will ultimately be the beginning of the end for such beloved consoles. So, you Nintendo fans had best get the most out of the availability of these two titles whilst you still have the chance.