Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games are set to have online play ended next year with Nintendo shutting down servers for the platforms.
Nintendo is closing down online play for the famous 12-year-old handheld console 3DS and its infamous console counterpart, the Wii U The news comes on the heels of Nintendo closing down the eShops for both platforms in March 2023. Players weren’t able to purchase new titles after the closure of the eShop. Gamers have still been able to access online services in the games and features like multiplayer and rankings were functional.
Players looking to enjoy games like the original Splatoon won’t be able to do so once the shutdown goes into effect. The news comes as Nintendo reportedly gears up for the Nintendo Switch 2 launch.
When are 3DS and Wii U going offline?
Nintendo 3Ds and Wii U will lose online functionality when servers shut down in April 2024. The exact date and time will be announced later. The shutdown will impact games that rely heavily on online functionality.
“In early April 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software,” the official Nintendo support website elaborated on the closing.
Features like online multiplayer, online cooperative play, online rankings, and data distribution won’t be available after the online shutdown on the platforms. Nintendo has been disabling online support for various games over the years but is set to end service entirely next year. That schedule could be accelerated, however.
“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,” the statement says.
Will players lose access to 3DS and Wii U games?
No, any purchased games for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS will be available for download at any time alongside their updates and patches even after servers are shut down.
The online play shutdown only relates to in-game online features. Players that have bought games and DLC can access their purchases in the 3DS and Wii U eShops. Nintendo closed down the eShops for both consoles on March 27, so new players won’t be able to purchase any content from the storefronts. There were around 1,000 games on the platforms that were digital-only, and players no longer have any way to legally purchase them.
Nintendo gamers will still be able to access their games offline, even after the online services come to a close. Players with physical media will also have the option of playing the titles. Nintendo emphasizes that Pokemon Bank and Poke Transfer will remain functional after the shutdown. Pokemon Bank is an online cloud service that lets players transfer and store Pokemon online including to Pokemon HOME.