In a recent announcement, Nintendo confirmed the official date for the termination of online services for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U gaming consoles. Previously set for “early April 2024,” the shutdown will now occur on April 8, 2024, at 4 pm PT / 7 pm ET / 12 am (April 9) GMT.
This decision marks the end of an era for these beloved consoles, impacting games that rely heavily on online play, such as the original Splatoon on Wii U.
The official announcement
Nintendo made the official announcement regarding the shutdown through a message posted on their platform. The message stated, “Update: as of 4/8, online play and other online communication functionality will end service for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software.” The company also expressed gratitude for gamers’ continued support of their products.
The termination of online services means that players will no longer have access to online multiplayer, rankings, and other features that rely on online communication.
Games that depend heavily on these online functionalities, such as the original Splatoon on Wii U, will be significantly affected, as they will become exclusively playable offline.
Offline gaming is still available
While online services are ending, players will still have the option to play games offline after April 8. This ensures gamers can continue enjoying their favorite titles without online features.
Nintendo has also noted that Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter will retain their online functionality even after the shutdown of online services. This exception is likely due to players’ continued use of these services, as they play a central role in Pokémon-related activities.
Access to downloadable content
In a reassuring statement, Nintendo clarified that while in-game online functionality is ending, players can still download updated data and redownload purchased software and DLC from the 3DS and Wii U eShops “for the foreseeable future.” This ensures that players will not lose access to content they have already purchased.
Closure of eShops
Nintendo had previously closed down the eShops for both the 3DS and Wii U consoles in March 2023. This closure effectively made approximately 1000 digital-only eShop games unavailable for purchase or download, affecting the availability of these titles for gamers.
End of virtual console service
The eShops shutdown also marked the final systems’ termination to support Nintendo’s Virtual Console service. The Virtual Console service had been a popular feature among gamers, allowing them to access and play classic retro games on their 3DS and Wii U consoles.
With its discontinuation, Nintendo now offers retro games exclusively through its various apps under the Switch Online service.