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Nintendo Closing 3DS & Wii U Shops In 2023

Nintendo 3DS production ceases 9 years and 75 million units after the original launch

Nintendo will be shutting down the 3DS & Wii U shops for both platforms next year. In a post titled “Wii U & Nintendo 3DS eShop Discontinuation”, Nintendo just announced that in March 2023 the online storefronts for both systems will be ceasing operations. This is very bad news for many gamers, especially those of the kinds that enjoy retro games. But really, this isn’t too big of a deal, and we all pretty much knew it was coming.

We all knew this was coming mostly because the company had been pushing the 3DS and Wii U down in the priority listing for some time. The Switch recently passed the overall sales of 3DS units. And even before that, Nintendo pushed down projections for the production of new 3DS units in 2019. That certainly spelled the end of the console was coming. But still, it’s very sad to hear, especially considering that Nintendo is effectively abandoning those games, more on that later.

For one thing, the overall system is already being phased out. Starting in May 2022, there will be no way to add more funds to your account with methods other than eShop cards. You will be restricted to just accessing the games you already own. The only remaining method after this point, until August 2022, will be to use a Nintendo eShop Card to add funds.

– 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.

And on the aspect of actually playing games, there is good news. Nintendo has made it clear that they will continue to allow gamers to play the games they own on the two platforms. “Even after late March 2023, and 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.” So there it is, you will still be able to play your games, although you’re not able to get new ones.

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The company further dashes hopes of ports after the shutdown with an FAQ they wrote. The games that are currently exclusive to the Nintendo eShop on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems will cease to be available on any platform. There are a lot of concerns over that. Players want to be able to get their hands on classic games. But sadly, Nintendo has made it clear that this isn’t in the cards right now. “We currently have no plans to offer classic content in other ways,” they said in the FAQ.

The potential for Ninty to offer these games as a classic bundle, or to roll them into new projects is there, but I don’t trust it. Nintendo has a very obvious history of using artificial scarcity to sell games and products, and they’ve been rightly criticized for it. I wouldn’t put it past them to try and mint a new gold rush by taking these games and offering them as limited-time bundles, or another nonsense method to mine your nostalgia for cash.

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