- Nintendo is shutting down most online services for the Wii U and 3DS in spring 2024, following the closure of the eShops in March 2023.
- The shutdown will include the end of online multiplayer, data sharing, online leaderboards, and SpotPass on the affected consoles.
- Users will still be able to download games and DLC they already own, and local communication features like StreetPass will not be affected. Pokemon Bank will remain available on the 3DS after April 2024.
Nintendo will be shutting down most of the remaining online services for the Wii U and 3DS come spring 2024. The move is yet another step in the company’s efforts to sunset support for the two consoles, with its announcement arriving some half a year after the 3DS and Wii U eShops closed down in March 2023.
Nintendo has long been open about its intentions to discontinue online services for its older systems, having originally announced the aforementioned eShop closure back in early 2022. Since then, the company has also been gradually shutting down some other 3DS and Wii U online features.
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Its next move on that front will arrive in the form of a complete discontinuation of most of the remaining internet services for the two consoles. The shutdown, slated for early April 2024, will hence spell the end of online multiplayer on the 3DS and Wii U. Once the supporting server infrastructure is taken offline, the owners of the affected consoles will also lose access to related features such as data sharing, online leaderboards, and SpotPass, Nintendo’s support pages reveal.
Nintendo intends to announce the exact date of the shutdown in the coming months. The gaming giant is also reserving the right to discontinue online services for the 3DS and Wii U earlier than planned in the event of any difficulties that would inhibit its ability to maintain those features until early spring 2024. The shutdown won’t prevent users from downloading games and DLC that they already own, with Nintendo confirming that functionality will still be supported “for the foreseeable future.” The change also won’t affect features like StreetPass that rely on local communications.
The sole exception to this incoming discontinuation of online services is Pokemon Bank, which will remain available on the 3DS beyond April 2024. Nintendo’s decision to exempt this app from the sunsetting isn’t particularly surprising, not least because future-proofing players’ creature collections has been touted as one of the main selling points of Pokemon Bank since the service launched in late 2013. The March 2023 eShop closure also made Pokemon Bank free to use for 3DS owners, who previously had to pay a $4.99 annual subscription fee for that privilege. However, only people who downloaded the app at least once prior to the eShop shutdown are still able to access and reinstall it.
The shutdown of online multiplayer servers for the Wii U and 3DS will be around a month shy of the ten-year anniversary of the Wii and DS getting the same treatment in May 2014, which happened shortly before Nintendo released another one of its consoles in the form of the 3DS XL. History might repeat itself this time around as well, as some recent reports indicate that the Nintendo Switch 2 is slated for a spring 2024 launch.
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