Get the full statement and Q&A from Nintendo below.
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.
No changes are planned for Nintendo eShop on the Nintendo Switch family of systems.
The changes to Nintendo eShop on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems will simultaneously take effect in software on these platforms where it is possible to make purchases, such as StreetPass Mii Plaza, Theme Shop and Nintendo Badge Arcade.
Even after late March 2023, and for the foreseeable future, it will still be possible to redownload games and downloadable content, receive software updates, and enjoy online play on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.
We thank you for supporting Nintendo eShop on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. While we hope that you will continue to enjoy using these systems, we have taken this opportunity to prepare a website where you can look back on your time with them via various play statistics. Please visit https://my-nintendo-3ds-wiiu-memories.nintendo.com/.
Why is this happening?
This is part of the natural lifecycle for any product line as it becomes less used by consumers over time.
Why are you announcing this now?
We are providing this notice more than a year in advance of the end of purchases so users will have plenty of time to prepare.
Are any other services or functions of Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems going to be discontinued, such as online play?
There are no plans to make any further changes at this time.
How long will it still be possible to redownload previously purchased content in Nintendo eShop for Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems? How long will those systems still support online play?
For the foreseeable future, it will still be possible to redownload games and DLC, receive software updates and enjoy online play on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.
There are still Nintendo eShop Cards at retailers that show the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS logos. What will happen to them?
- These cards will continue to be at retail while supplies last.
- All Nintendo eShop Cards can be used to add funds to a Nintendo Account balance for use on the Nintendo Switch.
- This can be done via Nintendo eShop on the system itself.
Once it is no longer possible to purchase software in Nintendo eShop on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, many classic games for past platforms will cease to be available for purchase anywhere. Will you make classic games available to own some other way? If not, then why? Doesn’t Nintendo have an obligation to preserve its classic games by continually making them available for purchase?
- Across our Nintendo Switch Online membership plans, over 130 classic games are currently available in growing libraries for various legacy systems. The games are often enhanced with new features such as online play.
- We think this is an effective way to make classic content easily available to a broad range of players. Within these libraries, new and longtime players can not only find games they remember or have heard about, but other fun games they might not have thought to seek out otherwise.
- We currently have no plans to offer classic content in other ways.
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:
- 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.