With the publication of a post titled “Wii U and Nintendo 3DS eShop Discontinuation,” Nintendo has recently revealed that the online shops for both systems would be shut down in March 2023, effective immediately.
The closures will begin far sooner than that, however, in terms of time and money:
From May 23, 2022, it will no longer be allowed to use a credit card in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems to make purchases or add funds to an existing account.
The usage of a Nintendo eShop Card to contribute monies to a Nintendo account in the Nintendo eShop on the Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of consoles will be discontinued as of August 29, 2022. However, download codes will continue to be redeemable until the end of March 2023 at the earliest.
All of this is standard operating procedure. The 3DS is 11 years old this year, and the Wii U is 10, so it was inevitable that digital shop closures will occur at some point in the future. One particularly disappointing aspect of these closures is that both shopfronts offered users the ability to purchase and then own many of Nintendo’s greatest ever titles, something that has been largely unavailable since the company switched to a subscription-based model with Nintendo Switch Online, which is now available for purchase and download only.
This was anticipated by the firm. When the blog article was initially published, the following exchange occurred in a linked FAQ:
Many iconic titles for previous platforms will no longer be accessible for purchase anywhere once the Nintendo eShop on the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of devices is no longer available for purchase on those systems. Will you make vintage games accessible for purchase in a different format? If not, what is the reason behind this? Isn’t Nintendo under a duty to ensure the long-term viability of its iconic titles by keeping them accessible for purchase on a regular basis?
Over 130 vintage titles are presently accessible in increasing libraries for different legacy systems via our Nintendo Switch Online subscription plans, which are available across all of our membership levels. New features, such as internet play, are frequently incorporated into the games.
In our opinion, this is a successful strategy for making classic material easily accessible to a large number of people. New and returning players will be able to locate not just games they are familiar with or have heard about, but also additional entertaining games that they may not have discovered otherwise.
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