As technology continues to develop left and right, it is only fitting that past developments finally see the end of the tunnel. Nintendo decided to do just that with their announcement of closing the Electronic Shops (eShop) of their two celebrated consoles, the 3DS and Wii U.
In a blog release posted on Tuesday, the Japanese video game company will slowly retire the two online shopping platforms through a process that will begin in May 2022 until late March next year, when it will permanently close.
Two months from now, on May 23, the closure will commence with users being unable to add credit card funds to their Nintendo eShop accounts on Wii U and the 3DS. By August 29, the convenience of using Nintendo eShop cards to add funds to such accounts will also halt. By late March 2023, buying games from the eShop will be nothing more than a mere memory.
“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,” the game developer said. “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,” they added.
However, sharing balances between the Nintendo Network ID wallet, which is used with Wii U and the 3DS, and the Nintendo Switch’s Account wallet to purchase content will remain open until March 2023. Redeeming download codes will also be allowed until then.
“After that, the balance can only be used to purchase content for the Nintendo Switch family of systems,” the blog said. (Read: Chrono Cross remaster coming to Nintendo Switch this April)]
This means by April 2023, buying the 1799 titles available on the eShop, which includes the Game Boy Advance’s Virtual Console games and the 3D Classic Remakes, will be impossible. Titles acquired from the online store, however, can still be updated and re-downloaded.
“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,” the statement assured.
Such a decision leans on the two platforms “as it becomes less used by consumers over time.” With the 3DS turning 11 this year and the Wii U turning a decade old, a proper send-off will finally happen, albeit with backlash from fans.
In the Q&A portion of the statement, a now-deleted FAQ mentioned Nintendo having an “obligation to preserve its classic games by continually making them available for purchase,”
The video game giant then responded, directing users to the Nintendo Switch Online store which houses over 130 classic titles. These titles, though, can only be accessed after purchasing their membership plans. The now-erased exchange then finished with a “We currently have no plans to offer classic content in other ways” clause.
In the meantime, Nintendo has arranged a gallery for fans who want to look back on their playing times with the 3DS and Wii U. It features memories, achievements, and game progress users have procured from 2011 to 2020; and while there is still time, fans have the whole year to enjoy the last hurrah before the eShop finally closes.
The discontinuation of the platform applies to New Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS XL, New Nintendo 2DS XL, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo 2DS, Wii U Deluxe, and Wii U Basic.
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