Nintendo is shutting down the Wii U and 3DS eShop in March 2023

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It's the end of an era, as both the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS will be moving on to that great end-of-life cloud in the sky. Nintendo has put out a warning that they'll be winding down support both the eShop on both platforms. Starting May 23 of this year, credit cards will no longer be able to be used to add funds to the 3DS or Wii U eShop, with support for physical eShop cards going away on August 29th. Digital download codes will still work and will be redeemable until the final plug is pulled in March 2023.

As of late March 2023, it will no longer be possible to make purchases in Nintendo eShop for the Wii U system and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. It will also no longer be possible to download free content, including game demos. Furthermore, as this date draws closer, related services will cease to function:

  • As of May 23, 2022, it will no longer be possible to use a credit card to add funds to an account in Nintendo eShop on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.
  • As of August 29, 2022, it will no longer be possible to use a Nintendo eShop Card to add funds to an account in Nintendo eShop on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. However, it will still be possible to redeem download codes until late March 2023.
Users who link their Nintendo Network ID wallet (used with Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems) with their Nintendo Account wallet (used with the Nintendo Switch family of systems) can use the shared balance to purchase content on any of these systems until late March 2023. After that, the balance can only be used to purchase content for the Nintendo Switch family of systems.

In an FAQ released alongside the announcement, Nintendo clarified that this will not affect online play, and users will still be able to redownload games they have previously purchased.

If someone visits Nintendo eShop and wants to download something on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family systems after late March 2023, what will they able to do?

  • On both platforms, users will still be able to:
    • Redownload content they own.
    • Download existing software updates.
  • On both platforms, users will not be able to:
    • Purchase any content:
      • On Nintendo 3DS, this includes paid content, plays and passes in software such as StreetPass Mii Plaza, Theme Shop, Nintendo Badge Arcade and Pokémon Bank.
      • On Wii U, this includes passes in software such as Wii Sports Club.
    • Download demos.
    • Download free-to-start software.
    • Redeem a download code.
    • Add funds to their Nintendo eShop balance.
  • On Nintendo 3DS family systems, users will still be able to:
    • Download a small number of free themes from Theme Shop.

Nintendo released the 3DS in March 2011, with multiple revisions to the handheld released throughout its lifetime. The Wii U came out in November 2012, and had a short life, being officially discontinued after the launch of the more successful Switch in 2017. The Virtual Console service was well known on either system, where classic games were sold individually, ranging from decades of Nintendo history. Nintendo chose to mention that they currently have no plans to continue the Virtual Console line, and will be focusing support on the Nintendo Switch Online classic library.

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KennyAtom

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Doesn't this mean it will no longer be possible to do 3DS system transfers after March 2023?
I've been able to transfer DSi files to 3DS still, and that shut down a little while back. (Maybe I'm wrong, considering I just tested to see if it could connect to my 3DS at the time), so it could be possible they'll still leave system transfers up.
 

assassinz

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I've been able to transfer DSi files to 3DS still, and that shut down a little while back. (Maybe I'm wrong, considering I just tested to see if it could connect to my 3DS at the time), so it could be possible they'll still leave system transfers up.
Yeah we probably won't actually have to worry about system/NNID transfers until they shut down all online 3DS support.
 

RichardTheKing

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I hate this, because it means so many practically-unknown games will vanish - for example, Parascientific Escape. It's a quaint little visual novel+puzzle trilogy (think of Zero Escape, but not nearly as dark), but I cannot find an online download anywhere, save for a certain "fabrique" site that offers .exe files that set off VirusTotal.
Or how about Lord of Magna? Another mostly-unknown and decent game, that's not popular enough to be backed up on 'reliable' sites.

And then I've had issues downloading DLCs in the past too, in particular DLC for Fire Emblem: Awakening and Fates. I download them, install them with FBI, and...they don't show up in-game. Not on console, or on Citra.
In fact, if I dump legitimately-bought DLC and try to install it on Citra or another console, it doesn't work either. As a result, when the 3DS eShop goes down, DLC might as well go with it, in my unfortunate experience.
 

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If someone visits Nintendo eShop and wants to download something on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family systems after late March 2023, what will they able to do?

  • On both platforms, users will still be able to:
    • Redownload content they own.
    • Download existing software updates.

This is so stupid. They're basically saying, "yeah we're still keeping the files online, but screw you if you want to buy anything." It makes literally zero sense since they aren't taking down anything, except for what? The buy button?
 

KleinesSinchen

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This is so stupid. They're basically saying, "yeah we're still keeping the files online, but screw you if you want to buy anything." It makes literally zero sense since they aren't taking down anything, except for what? The buy button?
My guess on this is: Potential support inquires. If people can buy stuff, Nintendo has to assist if something goes wrong with eShop cards, with connecting to the internet, with potential problems of all kinds non-tech-savvy people might have.

They are still offering re-download, but my guess is that anybody with a problem asking for help will get a semi-automatic reply linking to an old "knowledge base" online and the remark: "No support anymore."

I have no idea if the just fear some backlash on the internet when taking the complete shop offline (including re-download) freeing server capacity, or if they could even be legally required to offer re-downloads. Might depend on the country? And no: General EULAs saying "Can be discontinued anytime – f… yourself if you bought something you cannot get anymore!" don't mean anything as they aren't above law.
 
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My guess on this is: Potential support inquires. If people can buy stuff, Nintendo has to assist if something goes wrong with eShop cards, with connecting to the internet, with potential problems of all kinds non-tech-savvy people might have.
Imo it is just a security issue. You don't want to allow people spend real money on a dead platform with outdated security. And I guess Nintendo (as well as Sony) is tired of releasing new firmwares on dead platforms just to update credentials and things like that.
 
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ital

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I hate this, because it means so many practically-unknown games will vanish - for example, Parascientific Escape. It's a quaint little visual novel+puzzle trilogy (think of Zero Escape, but not nearly as dark), but I cannot find an online download anywhere, save for a certain "fabrique" site that offers .exe files that set off VirusTotal.
Or how about Lord of Magna? Another mostly-unknown and decent game, that's not popular enough to be backed up on 'reliable' sites.

And then I've had issues downloading DLCs in the past too, in particular DLC for Fire Emblem: Awakening and Fates. I download them, install them with FBI, and...they don't show up in-game. Not on console, or on Citra.
In fact, if I dump legitimately-bought DLC and try to install it on Citra or another console, it doesn't work either. As a result, when the 3DS eShop goes down, DLC might as well go with it, in my unfortunate experience.

Thanks, I'd never heard of that Zero Escape style game before. Thankfully "The ultimate site for Nintendo 3DS content preservation" *wink* *wink* had the files available.

 

RichardTheKing

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Thanks, I'd never heard of that Zero Escape style game before. Thankfully "The ultimate site for Nintendo 3DS content preservation" *wink* *wink* had the files available.

Huh, whatever you're talking about had never appeared in my DuckDuckGo searches before. Weird; must not advertise that much, or have good SEO.
 
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ital

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Last edited by ital,
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MSX

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My guess on this is: Potential support inquires. If people can buy stuff, Nintendo has to assist if something goes wrong with eShop cards, with connecting to the internet, with potential problems of all kinds non-tech-savvy people might have.

They are still offering re-download, but my guess is that anybody with a problem asking for help will get a semi-automatic reply linking to an old "knowledge base" online and the remark: "No support anymore."

I have no idea if the just fear some backlash on the internet when taking the complete shop offline (including re-download) freeing server capacity, or if they could even be legally required to offer re-downloads. Might depend on the country? And no: General EULAs saying "Can be discontinued anytime – f… yourself if you bought something you cannot get anymore!" don't mean anything as they aren't above law.
I doubt it has to do with support inquires, or else they probably would have felt that making and supporting a Switch eShop would not be worth it.
 
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