Nintendo confirmed it will widely shut down online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games in April 2024, which will be just over a year after it discontinued the Nintendo eShop on those systems.
This deactivation of most of the online services for those platforms was revealed on X (formerly Twitter) and Nintendo’s support site early Wednesday. “In early April 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software. This also includes online co-operative play, internet rankings, and data distribution,” the message says. “We will announce a specific end date and time at a later date. Please note that if an event occurs that would make it difficult to continue online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software, we may have to discontinue services earlier than planned. We sincerely thank players for using the online services of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software over a long period of time and apologize for any inconvenience.”
Essentially, this means that after April 2024, you won’t be able to use any online features in things like 3DS Pokémon games or Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U anymore. Nintendo does say in the Q&A section of its support article that people will still be able to play games offline and redownload updates and games from the Nintendo eShop for the foreseeable future. Pokémon Bank will remain unaffected, so it’ll still be possible to transfer Pokémon from Ruby and Sapphire all of the way to Pokémon Home. However, SpotPass support and other online-focused applications like Nintendo Badge Arcade will stop working entirely.
Just like the Wii U and 3DS eShop closure that caused a ruckus earlier this year, this move is a blow to game preservation and will forever harm some games not available anywhere else. While it’s understandable that Nintendo might want to move on from these systems’ dated online infrastructure, it’s still a disappointing move for those of us who spent a lot of time playing games offline and online on these systems.
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