Nintendo has revealed that eShop purchases on the Wii U and 3DS will come to an end next year.
More specifically, it will no longer be possible to make eShop purchases on these two consoles after late March 2023. A blow to digital game preservation, once this goes into effect, the only way to purchase games on both the Wii U and 3DS will be physically, and if previous digital storefront shutdowns like this are any indication, those physical game prices are about to skyrocket.
As of late March 2023, it will no longer be possible to make Nintendo eShop purchases for the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.
More info: https://t.co/uGoxCcDZ70
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) February 16, 2022
“It will also no longer be possible to download free content, including game demos,” Nintendo writes on its website. “As of August 29, 2022, it will no longer be possible to use a Nintendo eShop Card to add funds to an account in Nintendo eShop on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. However, it will still be possible to redeem download codes until late March 2023.”
No changes are planned for the eShop on Switch consoles as a result of this, of course (although wouldn’t it be nice if Nintendo could bring Wii U games and 3DS games to the Switch eShop somehow).
“Even after late March 2023, and for the foreseeable future, it will still be possible to redownload games and DLC, receive software updates and enjoy online play on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems,” Nintendo’s website reads. “We thank you for supporting Nintendo eShop on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.”
Nintendo’s Q&A about the announcement says this is happening because it “is part of the natural lifecycle for any product line as it becomes less used by consumers over time” and that it is “providing this notice more than a year in advance of the end of purchases so users will have plenty of time to prepare.”
What’s especially unfortunate about this news is that there are many games still only playable on these consoles, such as Xenoblade Chronicles X, which is stuck on the Wii U considering it hasn’t been ported to Switch like Xenoblade Chronicles. Now, when the Wii U eShop goes offline, the price of a physical copy of Xenoblade Chronicles X will skyrocket and it will be harder than ever to track that game down and actually play it. But hey, in the meantime, you can look at your Wii U and 3DS memories to see some highlights from your time on those consoles.
While waiting for March 2023, read Game Informer’s list of the top 10 games on Wii U and then check out Game Informer’s list of the top 10 games on 3DS. After that, listen to this episode of All Things Nintendo where your hosts discuss the Wii U games that should come to Switch in 2022.
How do you feel about this announcement? Let us know in the comments below!