The Nintendo eShop storefronts for both 3DS and Wii U will shut down for new purchases on 27th March 2023.
This closure extends to in-game purchases made outside of the eShop app on these platforms, such as within the 3DS Nintendo Badge Arcade.
Nintendo confirmed the date today, and reminded 3DS and Wii U owners that the 29th August 2022 deadline for adding eShop card funds was now approaching.
The ability to redeem download codes for games will remain until 27th March 2023, however.
After that shutdown date, the eShop will still be accessible to existing customers so you can redownload previously-purchased games and DLC “for the forseeable future”, Nintendo said today in a customer support blog post.
Online servers for 3DS and Wii U games are unaffected.
One game getting the chop a little earlier than planned, however, is Fire Emblem Fates, which will be withdrawn from sale on 28th February 2023. Its DLC which unlocks further story paths will remain on sale until the general 27th March shutdown.
Nintendo raised eyebrows and a fair amount of fan ire when it originally announced plans to close the 3DS and Wii U eShops to new purchases earlier this year.
Updates on the discontinuation of #eShop for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS family systems:
– As of 29/08/2022, it will no longer be possible to add funds.
– As of 27/03/2023, purchases will no longer be available.
More details: https://t.co/1H8i5vARTz
— Nintendo of Europe (@NintendoEurope) July 19, 2022
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A Q&A on the changes included a section on Nintendos duty to preserve access to classic games, and a question on whether Nintendo would “make classic games available to own some other way”. Wrote Nintendo: “Doesnt Nintendo have an obligation to preserve its classic games by continually making them available for purchase?”
“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 long-time 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.”
This section was later removed without explanation.
Are there any 3DS or Wii U games you fancy downloading before its too late?