3DS and Wii U eShop purchases end in March 2023

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Nintendo will close the 3DS and Wii U eShops to new purchases in March 2023.

After this point, the ability to buy games or download free-to-play titles and demos will be gone for good. Download codes will also not function.

However, you will still be able to redownload previously-purchased games and DLC, receive software updates, and play online.

Eurogamer Newscast: February’s Nintendo Direct Digested.

You will no longer be able to add funds to a Wii U or 3DS eShop account via credit card from 23rd May this year. And from 29th August this year, you will no longer be able to add funds from a Nintendo eShop Card.

Nintendo made the announcement this morning via its social media channels, and linked to a Nintendo Support blog with further details, including a Q&A.

When that page went live, it included a section on Nintendo’s 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: “Doesn’t 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 has now been removed without explanation. We’ve asked Nintendo for comment.

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Other parts of the Q&A state that the Wii U and 3DS eShops were being retired as “part of the natural lifecycle for any product line as it becomes less used by consumers over time”, and note that Nintendo is giving “more than a year” of notice.

The ability to redownload games and receive software updates, as well as play games online, will continue “for the foreseeable future”, Nintendo said.

To soften the blow, Nintendo has launched a My 3DS and Wii U Memories service, where you can look at play stats from your time with its aging consoles.

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Reaction to the announcement has been negative, and many have pointed to the digital-only games which will no longer be available when the stores shut.

Some have compared the decision to Sony’s announcement it would shutter the PS3 and Vita stores – something it later dramatically U-turned on after fan criticism. (The PSP store was still closed, however.)

Do you still play your 3DS and Wii U? Are there any games you’ll now pick up?

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