Nintendo Closing 3DS & Wii U Shops In 2023, Has ‘No Plans To Offer Classic Content In Other Ways’

Nintendo Closing 3DS & Wii U Shops In 2023, Has ‘No Plans To Offer Classic Content In Other Ways’

In a post titled “Wii U & Nintendo 3DS eShop Discontinuation”, Nintendo just announced that in March 2023 the online storefronts for both systems will be ceasing operations.

But in a practical sense the closures will begin a lot sooner than that:

– As of May 23, 2022, it will no longer be possible to use a credit card to add funds to an account in Nintendo eShop on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.

– 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.

In terms of people playing and enjoying the games they already own, Nintendo says:

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.

All of this is expected stuff. The 3DS is 11 years old this year and the Wii U ten, so digital store closures were always going to happen sooner or later. What’s shitty about these closures in particular, though, is that both shopfronts offered users the ability to purchase and then own many of Nintendo’s greatest ever titles, something you’re now largely unable to do ever since the company switched to a subscription model with Nintendo Switch Online.

The company saw this coming. When the blog post was first made, an associated FAQ had the following exchange:

Once it is no longer possible to purchase software in Nintendo eShop on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, many classic games for past platforms will cease to be available for purchase anywhere. Will you make classic games available to own some other way? If not, then why? 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 longtime 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.

“We currently have no plans to offer classic content in other ways” is an incredibly shitty thing to read, because under zero circumstances is a subscription-based model an acceptable substitution to actually owning a game.

Especially wild, then, is the fact that not long after publishing this, Nintendo wiped that particular section of the Q&A from its site. Go and check it now and the “Doesn’t Nintendo have an obligation to preserve its classic games by continually making them available for purchase?” part is gone.

Comments

  • Here we go again Luke with some more shitty bad news.
    First Nintendo shut down Miiverse and Miitopia on mobile then the Wii Shop Channel was closed down after 12 years 3DS production was then ceased then Nintendo ended it’s mobile game service for Dr. Mario World late last year after Nintendo announced that diamonds were no longer available for purchase and now this piece of bad news the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShops shutting down in late 2023 meaning from May 23 this year we’ll no longer be able to use our credit card to add funds to an account and from August 29 this year we’ll no longer be able to use our Nintendo eShop gift cards in the Nintendo eShop on both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
    What else is Nintendo going to shut down Nintendo Network ID or some shit?

  • While I completely understand not keeping servers alive forever, it seems incredibly stupid not to just make all these items available for switch (or whatever the next console will be). Making your 3ds and GBA games playable on switch would just be a license to print more money for work that’s mostly already done… its not like your still trying to sell GBA or 3DS consoles anyway

    I have a TON of RPGS on switch I really doubt I’ll get to any time soon and probably some wont be played for years, it sucks when if the next console comes out I wont be able to use that to play those games, it really puts me off the idea of upgrading.

  • Just a friendly reminder that both of these consoles are laughably easy to Jailbreak these days.

    These days you can play almost all GBA games with perfect emulation on the 3ds thanks to injection.

  • It would be nice if they put the entire eShop library on sale, as there’s a bunch of titles I’d want to buy for something that ISN’T locked at 2011’s MSRP

  • Just imagine if they put their entire 1st party back catalogue into the switch online subscription, everything from NES/GameBoy all the way up to Wii/3DS.

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