Nintendo to End Online Services for Wii U and 3DS Games in April 2024

Nintendo will discontinue practically all of its 3DS and Wii U software’s online services in the spring of 2015, which will have an impact on multiplayer and other online capabilities. “This also includes online co-operative play, internet rankings, and data distribution.” according to Nintendo.

The announcement of this early April 2024 closure comes after the online functionality for Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon on the Wii U was restored. This functionality had been gone between March and August while Nintendo addressed a “vulnerability related to online play.”

Pokémon Bank, the cloud storage service that debuted in 2013 with Pokémon X and Y, will continue to be available for the time being, and offline play is still an option. However, you may want to transfer your collection to the more recent Pokémon Home setup.

Additionally, according to this Nintendo FAQ, players will have access to patches and redownloads of titles they have already purchased via the eShop “for the foreseeable future.” Wii U and 3DS game eShop sales came to an end in March of this year.

Nintendo’s FAQ also states that “if an event occurs that would make it difficult to continue online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software, we may have to discontinue services earlier than planned.” There is currently no set date for the shutdown.

Early April 2024 will see the end of online play and other online communication-based features for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software:

Even after these servers are eliminated, Nintendo claims that StreetPass links between 3DS family units will continue to function any place you can locate someone else who has one.

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SpotPass capabilities are also being discontinued. Just over ten years after the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Service went offline, eliminating online services for Nintendo’s Wii and DS games in 2014, this anticipated closure in early April 2024 will take place.

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For example, you will be able to use StreetPass in StreetPass Mii Plaza, which is pre-installed on Nintendo 3DS family systems, but you will no longer be able to use features that use online communication (such as receiving new panels in Puzzle Swap).

Additionally, the Nintendo Badge Arcade game, which allowed users to customize their 3DS home menus with stickers snagged with a virtual crane arm, is now over. The data for the virtual badges will only be stored on users’ SD cards after April, according to this FAQ, so gamers may wish to back those up or risk losing the prizes, which could cost real money to earn.

The Wii U was one of Nintendo’s worst-selling consoles ever with around 13 million sales since its 2012 release. After it was abandoned in 2017, the developer moved on with its finest titles, creating ports and sequels that rendered the originals outdated. Memory problems that may make keeping archives of the system’s games on original hardware even more challenging have been reported earlier this year.

Although the 3DS arrived in 2010 with a sluggish start, it eventually sold over 75 million copies thanks to robust sales that persisted even after the release of the Switch until it was retired in 2020.

If you’re wondering what this means for the future of Nintendo’s other online services, company CEO Shuntaro Furukawa stated last summer that the existing Nintendo Account system is crucial to ensuring a smooth transition to a new hardware generation following the Switch. He mentioned how challenging it was to establish new client contacts each time a new network was introduced using the old systems.

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