Nintendo to Shutdown 3DS, Wii U Online Services in 2024

Following the earlier closure of the 3DS and Wii U eShops, Nintendo has now announced its plans to discontinue online services for its 3DS and Wii U consoles in April 2024, Engadget is reporting.


Nintendo’s decision includes terminating online co-operative play, internet rankings, and data distribution services. Notably, the popular Badge Arcade, which allowed users to decorate their Nintendo 3DS home menu, will also vanish.

It’s important to note that the exact shutdown date remains flexible, and Nintendo has hinted that services could end “earlier than planned.”

While most online play on these consoles will cease, Nintendo intends to continue operating its Pokémon Bank cloud storage service. However, the company has cautioned that this service may also face discontinuation in the future.

On a brighter note, players will still have the ability to redownload previously purchased games and receive patches “for the foreseeable future,” as per an FAQ section.

Back in March, Nintendo briefly halted online play for the Wii U versions of popular titles such as Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon. These services were only reinstated in August 2023.

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Despite these changes, there is some relief for Nintendo 3DS users as StreetPass links within the 3DS ecosystem will remain functional.

For instance, StreetPass will continue to work in StreetPass Mii Plaza, a pre-installed game on Nintendo 3DS family systems. However, features that rely on online communication, such as receiving new panels in Puzzle Swap, will no longer be accessible.

The Wii U, which was initially released in 2012 and discontinued in 2017, faced challenges as one of Nintendo’s least successful consoles.

In contrast, the 3DS, launched in 2010 and discontinued in 2020, enjoyed greater success. Both consoles relied on the Nintendo Network, introduced in 2012, for their online services.

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