Home Today is the day Nintendo officially kills off 3DS and Wii U Online services

Today is the day Nintendo officially kills off 3DS and Wii U Online services

Back in January Nintendo warned us that on 8th April, more specifically at 4 pm PDT, the online services for the 3DS and Wii U would officially be led out the back and humanely shot, presumably with a console-experienced vet present.

While eShops for both shut down last month there was a glimmer of hope that online services may remain, but as the hour draws near and a reprieve from the Governor of Nintendo looks unlikely, within a few hours, both consoles will cease to function online.

While you can still happily play them offline, if you enjoyed an online game, such as Splatoon with your friends, well that will be no more once the deadline passes.

Nintendo says on its support page:

Thank you very much for supporting our products.

At 4 pm PDT on April 8, 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end for Nintendo 3DS* and Wii U software. This also includes online cooperative play, internet rankings, and data distribution.

We sincerely thank players for using the online services of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software over a long period of time and apologize for any inconvenience.

We covered the campaign to “Stop Killing Games” campaign last week, and while the games themselves will remain playable here, many features of a lot of popular games will not, further highlighting how little say gamers have over the products they choose to spend money on.

Can you still use WiiU and 3DS after Nintendo shuts them down?

Nintendo’s FAQ is completely clear about what will and will not work going forward:

Will I still be able to play offline even after online services end?
Yes. Players will still be able to use features and game modes that do not require online communication.

Will any online services still be available even after online services generally end?
It will still be possible to use online services for the following software but that may also end at some point in the future.

  • Pokémon Bank
  • Poké Transporter

Are you also ending online services for software from publishers other than Nintendo?
With some exceptions, online services will end for all Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software. Please contact publishers for information about the online services for their software.

While it is perhaps unrealistic for consumers to expect companies to support their purchases indefinitely, it is still not made clear at the point of purchase that one day the online game you are buying may become worthless. As we move forward into the age of totally digital gaming, it is something that will need to eventually be addressed by the publishers of these online products.

Featured Image: Nintendo

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Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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