Nintendo Killing Online Services For Wii, DS

Nintendo Killing Online Services For Wii, DS

If you own either (or both!) of Nintendo’s last-gen machines, and you use any kind of online service with them, now’s the time to make the most of it. Because on 20 May 2014, Nintendo is pulling the plug.

While both console’s online stores will remain, other stuff like online play, matchmaking and leaderboards will be shut down.

Here’s the relevant part of the company’s statement, as published on Nintendo’s Australian site:

As of May 20th, 2014, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service will be discontinued and it will no longer be possible to use online features of Nintendo DS/DSi and Wii software such as online play, matchmaking and leaderboards.

The Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop will not be affected however, and will continue to be accessible after May 20th.

Time to dust off that copy of Mario Kart DS for one last run…

Remember that the statement references software, not hardware, so even if you’re running a DS game on a 3DS, or a Wii game on the Wii U, it still won’t connect online.

You can read a list of the affected games here. It obviously impacts many of the biggest titles on both platforms, from Mario Kart to Smash Bros. to Pokemon.

The full list of stuff that will keep on working past May 20 follows.

  • Internet Channel
  • Nintendo DS Browser
  • Nintendo DSi Browser
  • Nintendo DSi Shop
  • Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Pay & Play
  • Wii Shop Channel
  • YouTube

Note: While this notice has yet to appear on the Nintendo of America site, it has turned up on both the Japanese and Australian portals, which strongly suggests the move is global. We’ve contacted Nintendo of America, and will update if we hear back.

Update: The notice is now up on the Nintendo of America site as well. The company sent the following statement to Kotaku, which has some interesting stuff about the company’s “focus”.


  • Update: The notice is now up on the Nintendo of America site as well. The company sent the following statement to Kotaku, which has some interesting stuff about the company’s “focus”.

    What following statement???

    • As of May 20, 2014, certain online functionality, including online play, matchmaking and leaderboards for many Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi games, will no longer be accessible. For a list of Nintendo games and services that are affected, please check Users can still play these games in offline mode, which continues to offer a rich game-play experience. Other online functionality on Wii and Nintendo DS, such as access to the Wii Shop Channel, the Nintendo DSi Shop and video-on-demand services, are also not affected at this time.

      Online play for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games will be unaffected (aside from the Wii mode on Wii U and Nintendo DS games played on Nintendo 3DS family systems).

      Our focus now shifts to readying our Wii U and Nintendo 3DS matchmaking services for upcoming games such as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros.

      We at Nintendo sincerely thank our fans for their continued support of our company’s legacy systems. Your enthusiasm for games made for these systems speaks to their longevity, and the passion of Nintendo fans.

  • Well I think we can probably all agree this is because Wii U sales are poor and their trying to push people to upgrade

    • Probably, but all it’s going to do is drive people further away from their brand. It’s a sucky move when both consoles are still being sold in stores. I was going to buy a WiiU for my daughters birthday in a couple of months. Now, not a chance. Even though the Wii’s online was shit at best, it’s a dick move to start dropping support for consoles that you’re still actively selling.

    • I doubt it’s that… the Wii is pretty much dead. It’s selling less than the PSP these days. And of those people who already own one, how many are actually still playing it regularly now? I know mine hasn’t been used in years.

      DS is probably harder to understand… 3DS has sold big numbers but still nowhere near the DS install base. Perhaps a lot of those DS users just aren’t using the online stuff anymore?

      So yeah, I doubt it’s any great conspiracy theory or anything… just users moving away from the services on the older devices, if not the devices themselves.

  • Idiots please remember this next time you are abusing someone who doesn’t like the idea of mandatory online services for games – it’s this easy for them to take away multiplayer and other features.

    I wonder if Nintendo is going to refund people for the parts of games/hardware which no longer work.

  • After five years of gathering dust, I was planning on setting up my WIi again this week. And now I have to rush and buy all those downloadable games?!?!

    • the stores will still work… (they like taking money from you) they just arent providing online MP services anymore.

    • While both console’s online stores will remain, other stuff like online play, matchmaking and leaderboards will be shut down.

  • What? The Mario Kart Wii Channel will be down before Mario Kart 8 comes out? That’s full 11 days without online racing, and that assuming one gets the game the release day. Kind of insane, knowing how popular it still is.

    It seems I won’t be able to reach 8000 points, after all :/ Sitting on the low 7000s now.

  • Hopefully, they could do some last minute Wii Shop discounts for Wii owners?

    I got 700 points left and nothing left to download.

    • Nintendo discount something!!? You’ve got a better chance of seeing the Pope hand out condoms across Africa than a Nintendo discount!

      • C’mon man! Please! Just this once!

        Just one more….one last time!! I’ll never do it again! I promise!

  • This will be the first time a game I’ve bought (Mario Kart Wii) will lose functionality when the servers are closed.

    I’m afraid this is just the first of many.

  • I’m happy to come here and see there aren’t mountains of “HERP DERP CONSOLEZ PC GAMING MASTER RACE YEAAAAH” comments like there were on ars technica. Ugh…

  • I will seriously miss dominating on Mario Kart DS. By far, my favorite iteration of the franchise and one I regularly play online.
    This is sad news for me.

  • Speaking of Nintendo pulling a previous service. I’m curious if anyone here has recently tried claiming anything to do with an old cartridge based system with the Lifetime Guaruntee they dropped when they went to disc? I have a second NES that doesn’t turn on 🙂

  • Will I still be able to trade on 2 local ds’s with pokemon heartgold soulsilver when the shutdown happens

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