If you've been hanging on to the previous generation of Nintendo platforms, the time to let go is getting nearer and nearer. On Tuesday, the company announced that eShops for the Wii U console and the Nintendo 3DS handheld will shut down in March 2023.
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.— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) February 16, 2022
More info: https://t.co/uGoxCcDZ70
"As of late March 2023, it will no longer be possible to make purchases in Nintendo eShop for the Wii U system and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems," reads the Nintendo support site. "It will also no longer be possible to download free content, including game demos."
Specific dates to note include May 23, 2022, which will be the cutoff for adding funds to the Wii U and 3DS eShops via credit card, and August 29, 2022, which will be the cutoff for using prepaid Nintendo eShop Cards on those same storefronts. It will remain possible to re-download old titles that were previously purchased even after the cut-off date, at least for now.
This story stings particularly hard given that the Wii U and 3DS are the last remaining remnants of the Nintendo Virtual Console, which allowed users to purchase games from previous Nintendo console generations a la carte. While the catalog wasn't as big as it could have been, there are several games available through the service that are currently not available through the current Nintendo Switch Online system. This includes digital Wii games like Super Mario Galaxy 2, the Metroid Prime Trilogy, and Punch-Out!!, which have not yet been re-released on the Switch.
The Nintendo 3DS likewise holds numerous titles from the company's old-school handheld library. This includes many games from the Game Boy Advance era, which are unlikely to be reissued on the Switch.
The countdown is on to the end of the Wii U and 3DS eShops. As we've seen previously, Nintendo does not bluff when it comes to this sort of thing. If you have any final purchases to make, you have a little more than a year left to do so.