RIP, pour one out, and whatever else you can do for these kingly devices
I rarely get to use the 3DS and Wii U tags these days, but by God, I’m going to use them today. These systems have provided ages of entertainment throughout the years, and now their respective eShop marketplaces are going the way of the dodo just like the Wii did.
Announced via Nintendo’s Japanese support site, the 3DS and Wii U will stop taking credit card and electric money payments for the eShop (Suica works in Japan!). Here’s the rub: “After the end [date], you will not be able to add balances using credit cards and transportation electronic money from the Nintendo 3DS series and Wii U.” That end date is January 18, 2022 at 9AM JST.
Note that Nintendo clarifies that you can use existing balances after that period, you just can’t add them. You can also get around this semi-shutdown by working through the Nintendo site instead of those devices directly, or increase your balance via your Switch. The filter functionality for the 3DS’ web browser is also going to be forced “on” if you haven’t turned it off once before on that same date (may as well do that now just in case it matters). Plus, Karaoke Joysound for Wii U will be losing some monetary functionality after October 26, 2021.
So this isn’t a complete shutdown yet. Of course the next step is shuttering this entire operation eventually, Nintendo is just taking the wall apart brick by brick. It’s a smart method, as it comes gradually, typically with advance notice, and people know that it’s coming and can make peace with it. Kind of like the time Mario was killed off. At least you knew it was going to happen, so you could hoard physical copies if you wanted!