Nintendo dropped a bombshell on Wii U and 3DS players yesterday by saying the company will no longer be supporting the eShops for the two consoles in a years time.
On the heels of the latest Nintendo Direct which aired on February 9th, the house that Mario built announced the final closing of the online shop for the Wii U and 3DS. This ends over a decade of 3DS prominence in handheld gaming, and stops fans from obtaining solid older titles on the Wii U platform.
Luckily enough for fans that own either console, the permanent shut down is scheduled for March 2023, so there is plenty of time to load up on the great offerings the company has in the meantime. eBay has items such as the Megaman Battle Network series, and Metroid: Zero Mission for exorbitant prices on their original Gameboy Advance carts. However, the Wii U still offers these solid titles on their platform for a solid price, it’s also worth mentioning the Metroid Prime Trilogy is also still live on the eShop although there are a never ending stream of fan rumours that suggest it will arrive on the Switch.
The 3DS still offers a plethora of quality titles like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, and its sequel, as well as the only current way to obtain the first Donkey Kong Country Returns without breaking the old Wii out of the attic.
The shuttering of these eShops also make it so that players will no longer be able to download free stuff like demos. As early as May 23, 2022 it will no longer be possible to add funds to a Nintendo account directly on one of these devices. As of August 29th it will no longer be possible to redeem eShop cards on either system as well. Download codes for specific titles are in the clear until the final closing, however.
A workaround for the slow death of the eShops is to link your Nintendo ID to either system, and utilize the shared balance from the Switch. This will allow for the player to use their shared wallet for purchases all the way until the March closing. It’s notable to mention previously purchased content will be available for players to redownload at their own convenience, for the ‘forseeable future’ even after the final closing date.
More information regarding this big eShop shutdown can be found on Nintendo’s announcement page. The shut down of the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS eShops will commence on March 23, 2023.