The final nail in the coffin for both the Nintendo Wii U and the family of 3DS consoles is coming next year with an eShop change. The company announced on Twitter that in March of next year, you will no longer be able to access any of the games you've purchased via the Nintendo eShop, meaning even if you've purchased them and have been sitting on them due to console space, you won't be able to redownload them in the future. The move shouldn't be that unexpected since it's clear the company is moving forward with the Switch as a primary console for both home and handheld gaming, and if they are in fact working on whatever will replace it down the road (like a lot of rumors have suggested they are), then there's no reason to keep live channels open for the previous generation. We have the bulk of the info from Nintendo below, but you can read the full report here.
As of late March 2023, it will no longer be possible to make purchases in Nintendo eShop for the Wii U system and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. It will also no longer be possible to download free content, including game demos. Furthermore, as this date draws closer, related services will cease to function:
- As of May 23, 2022, it will no longer be possible to use a credit card to add funds to an account in Nintendo eShop on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.
- As of August 29, 2022, it will no longer be possible to use a Nintendo eShop Card to add funds to an account in Nintendo eShop on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. However, it will still be possible to redeem download codes until late March 2023.
Users who link their Nintendo Network ID wallet (used with Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems) with their Nintendo Account wallet (used with the Nintendo Switch family of systems) can use the shared balance to purchase content on any of these systems until late March 2023. After that, the balance can only be used to purchase content for the Nintendo Switch family of systems.
No changes are planned for Nintendo eShop on the Nintendo Switch family of systems.
The changes to Nintendo eShop on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems will simultaneously take effect in software on these platforms where it is possible to make purchases, such as StreetPass Mii Plaza, Theme Shop and Nintendo Badge Arcade.
Even after late March 2023, and for the foreseeable future, it will still be possible to redownload games and DLC, receive software updates and enjoy online play on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.