The Wii U and 3DS eShops will close later today, marking the end of two more digital game marketplaces.
Nintendo has been gradually shutting down components of each store in recent months, and today marks the final step, in which purchases will no longer be available.
Both stores will officially stop accepting purchases at the following time:
- PDT – March 27 at 5pm
- EDT – March 27 at 8pm
- GMT – March 28 at 1am
Nintendo removed credit card support from the 3DS and Wii U eShops last year, followed by the ability to use prepaid eShop cards.
At this moment, the only way players can add to their 3DS or Wii U balance is to merge their Nintendo Network ID (used for Wii U and 3DS) with their Nintendo Account (used for Switch), then top up on the Switch.
However, once the shop closes today, users will not be able to buy anything from it, even with a shared balance.
Any players who have existing money left on their Wii U or 3DS following the eShops’ closure will have until March 2024 to merge with their Nintendo Account, so that balance can be used on the Switch eShop instead.
“Even after March 27, 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,” Nintendo has said.
As revealed by VGC analysis, up to 1000 digital-only eShop games will effectively disappear for good once 3DS and Wii U eShop transactions end today.
Some of the more notable Wii U download-only exclusives set to disappear forever include Affordable Space Adventures, Amiibo Tap: Nintendo’s Greatest Bits, Chasing Aurora, Dr Luigi, The Letter, Mini Mario & Friends: Amiibo Challenge, Pokémon Rumble U, Pushmo World (Pullblox World in Europe) and Shut the Box.
On 3DS, the list of games set to disappear is even larger. These include 3D-enhanced re-releases of a number of classic games, including Nintendo’s 3D Classic range, which offered stereoscopic versions of games like Excitebike, Kid Icarus and Kirby’s Adventure.
Finally, the closure of the Wii U and 3DS eShops will also mean the termination of the final systems to support the Virtual Console service. Once this happens, the only retro games provided by Nintendo will be the ones available on Switch Online’s various apps.