Nintendo has just announced the discontinuation of the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS eShops in March 2023 in a post titled “Wii U & Nintendo 3DS eShop Discontinuation.”
Closures will begin much sooner, however, in practise.
For Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, credit card payments will no longer be accepted in Nintendo eShop starting on May 23, 2022. People who already own Nintendo games are more likely to play and enjoy them than those who don’t, the company says.
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It will still be possible to redownload games and DLC, as well as receive software updates and take advantage of online gaming on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems after March 2023.
All of this is to be expected, as far as I am concerned. Digital store closures were inevitable because the 3DS is 11 years old this year and the Wii U is ten. A particularly sad aspect of these closures is that both shops allowed customers to buy and own many of Nintendo’s greatest ever titles, something they can no longer do thanks to Nintendo Switch Online’s subscription-based model.
This was predicted by the business. When the blog post was first published, the following exchange took place in an associated FAQ:
Once Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems can no longer purchase software in the Nintendo eShop, many classic games from previous platforms will no longer be available anywhere. Is there a way to get your hands on some of the older games? If this isn’t the case, what gives? No, I don’t think Nintendo has an obligation to make its classic games available for purchase on a regular basis.
Over 130 classic games are currently available in growing libraries for various legacy systems across our Nintendo Switch Online membership plans. There are often new features added to the games, like online play.