Nintendo 3DS and Wii U online shops to close in 2023

A Q&A section said the company had "no plans to offer classic content in other ways [outside of Nintendo Switch Online]", but this has been removed

Nintendo has announced that the online shopping components of the 3DS and Wii U will be closing in early 2023.

This means that as of “late March 2023” Nintendo eShop purchases for downloadable games, free demos and more will not be available.

Other services will be winding down until the closure 13 months from now, as on May 23, 2022 credit cards will no longer be able to add funds to accounts on the Wii U and 3DS, and as of August 29, 2022 eShop cards will no longer be able to add funds as well.

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After these closures, this can be circumvented by linking the user’s Network ID between the 3DS, Wii U and Nintendo Switch. Funds added via the Switch can then be used on the other two consoles until March 2023.

After the closure date next year players will still be able to redownload games and DLC, get software updates, and play online games on the Wii U and 3DS. “No changes are planned for Nintendo eShop on the Nintendo Switch family of systems,” added Nintendo.

A Q&A section underneath the announcement answers why Nintendo is removing purchases from  these stores: “This is part of the natural lifecycle for any product line as it becomes less used by consumers over time.”

Nintendo Characters
Nintendo Characters. Credit: Nintendo

Users with Nintendo ID accounts on the Wii U and 3DS can go to this website to take a look at their statistics and memories from both consoles, including their “most unforgettable game.”

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Despite the announcement being made only a few hours ago, the Q&A section has already been edited, as the Wayback Machine shows that one question was answered concerning the availability of Nintendo’s classic library (as of publication this has been removed, but can be found here).

The Q&A read:

Q: “Once it is no longer possible to purchase software in Nintendo eShop on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, many classic games for past platforms will cease to be available for purchase anywhere. Will you make classic games available to own some other way? If not, then why? Doesn’t Nintendo have an obligation to preserve its classic games by continually making them available for purchase?”

Nintendo 3DS family
Nintendo’s current 3DS family of handheld consoles Credit: Nintendo

A: “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.”

“We think this is an effective way to make classic content easily available to a broad range of players. Within these libraries, new and longtime players can not only find games they remember or have heard about, but other fun games they might not have thought to seek out otherwise.”

“We currently have no plans to offer classic content in other ways.”

The Pokémon Bank – a paid for service that lets players store Pokémon online to trade between different games – also had a relevant statement regarding the upcoming closures. As of March 2023, the service will be made free “for a certain period of time”.

In other news, a BioShock movie is now officially in the works at Netflix.

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