I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it and stick your head out and yell “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
The inevitable has happened. Late last night, Nintendo announced that starting in March of 2023, it will no longer allow purchases to be made on the Nintendo 3DS eShop and the Nintendo Wii U eShop. It will also cut off access to downloadable free content, including game demos and free-to-start titles, and will no longer allow people to make purchases in certain programs, such as Wii Sports Club, Pokémon Bank, and StreetPass Mii Plaza.
As was the case when Nintendo shut down the Wii Shop Channel and said goodbye to WiiWare games, anybody who has purchased an eShop game on either device will still be able to download it after March 2023. Nintendo says the ability to do so will continue into “the foreseeable future” and that Wii U and 3DS owners will still be able to receive any software updates that have been released and play their games online.
Prior to the March 2023 cutoff date, Nintendo will remove the ability for players to add funds to their eShop account using a Wii U or 3DS. Starting May 23, 2022, you will no longer be able to use credit cards to add funds on these devices, and on August 29, 2022, Nintendo will stop allowing you to add funds using a Nintendo eShop card on the hardware. If you have linked your Nintendo Network ID wallet that you use with your Nintendo Switch to your Wii U and/or 3DS, you will still be able to use funds from that wallet on either device. However, after March 2023, those funds will only be able to be used on Nintendo Switch. Players will also be able to redeem any download codes up until the March 2023 cutoff.
Yes, the Theme Shop too
Obviously, this sucks. Despite Nintendo saying it’s “part of the natural lifecycle for any product line,” you would hope that maybe we could develop a way to not lose access to so many great pieces of software. I know a lot of people will lament that we haven’t received a Switch port of Xenoblade Chronicles X yet, but that’s still a possibility given how much more popular that series is now than it was on the Wii or Wii U. You can’t really say the same about something like Affordable Space Adventures or Dillon’s Rolling Western or Sakura Samurai or those Denpa Men games that I told myself I was going to buy but never got around to doing so.
I guess I should be lucky I still have a working Wii U and New Nintendo 2DS so I can really take stock of all the great games that I can only play on those devices. I know that many of the best Wii U eShop games released by third parties have gone multiplatform in the years since their initial release, but I know plenty of great 3DS eShop exclusives, like Siesta Fiesta, haven’t made the same move.
If you love either of these devices and the games available on them, don’t be quiet about this. Make your voice heard, but not in a toxic, targeting individual people kind of way. I’m not so sure Nintendo can be as easily swayed as Sony was last year, but hey, we’ll never know if we just sit idly by and let it happen. And if you need a reminder of how much you enjoyed either of these consoles, Nintendo has set up the My Nintendo 3DS & Wii U Memories website to give you a refresher on just how much time you spent with them.