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:
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.
- 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.
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.