Nintendo will end eShop purchases for Wii U and 3DS next year

Nintendo has revealed that eShop purchases on Wii U and 3DS will end next year.

Specifically, it will no longer be possible to make eShop purchases on these two consoles after the end of March 2023. A big blow to the preservation of digital games, once this takes effect, the only way to buy games on the Wii U and the 3DS will be physically, and if previous digital storefront closures like this are any indication, those physical game prices are about to skyrocket.

“It will also no longer be possible to download free content, including game demos,” writes Nintendo on its website. “As of August 29, 2022, it will no longer be possible to use a Nintendo eShop Card to add funds to an account in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. However, it will still be possible to redeem download codes until end of March 2023.”

No changes are planned for the eShop on Switch consoles as a result of this, of course (although it wouldn’t be nice if Nintendo could bring Wii U games and 3DS games to the Switch eShop from a one way or another).

“Even after the end of March 2023, and for the foreseeable future, it will still be possible to redownload games and DLCs, receive software updates, and enjoy online play on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems” , says the Nintendo website. “We thank Merci for supporting the Nintendo eShop on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.

Nintendo’s Q&A on the announcement states that this is happening because it “is part of the natural life cycle of any product line as it becomes less used by consumers over time” and it ” is providing this notice more than a year before the end of purchases so that users have sufficient time to prepare.

What’s particularly unfortunate about this news is that there are many games still playable only on these consoles, such as Xenoblade Chronicles X, which is stuck on the Wii U given that it hasn’t been ported to Switch as Xenoblade Chronicles. Now, when the Wii U eShop goes offline, the price of a physical copy of Xenoblade Chronicles X will skyrocket and it will be harder than ever to find and play this game. But hey, in the meantime, you can check out your Wii U and 3DS Memories to see some highlights of your time on these consoles.

Until March 2023, read game informant list of top 10 games on Wii U, then check out game informant list of top 10 games on 3ds. After that, listen to this episode of All Things Nintendo where your hosts discuss the Wii U games slated to come to Switch in 2022.

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