From that date onwards, it will no longer be possible to make purchases in the Nintendo eShop for either system, or download free content, including game demos.
According to Nintendo, after late March 2023 and “for the foreseeable future”, it will still be possible to redownload games and DLC, receive software updates and play online on Wii U and 3DS.
“This is part of the natural lifecycle for any product line as it becomes less used by consumers over time,” the company said.
“We are providing this notice more than a year in advance of the end of purchases so users will have plenty of time to prepare.”
- “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.”
The closures mean that many digital-only Wii U and 3DS games will essentially disappear from next year, unless users have already purchased them.
Wii U launched in 2012 and sold just 13.5 million units. By 2017, it had been discontinued.
Nintendo 3DS launched in 2011 and sold over 75 million units. It was discontinued in 2020.
To mark the store closures, Nintendo has launched a website where users can look back on their personal Wii U and 3DS play statistics.