Fans Bid Farewell as Nintendo Shuts Down Online Servers for Wii U & 3DS

Fans Bid Farewell as Nintendo Shuts Down Online Servers for Wii U & 3DS

It’s the end of an era for Nintendo as online servers for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS family of consoles have shut down today.

Barring a few exceptions, playing games on the Wii U or 3DS online is no longer possible. This is surely disappointing news for legacy players who desire to preserve and play a backlog of older games. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as you can still download and play previously purchased games. Read on to find out more!

An End of An Era

After roughly 13 years, Nintendo has decided to shut down the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS online servers. With immediate effect, online services for these consoles ended on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. The change was officially announced on the Nintendo Support X (previously Twitter) page. It stated, “Online play service for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software has ended… Thank you very much for your long-term patronage.”:

It is now impossible to make use of any online services on the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS. The SpotPass features on the 3DS will also no longer be available, but StreetPass will still work. When Nintendo Support previously announced the discontinuation of online servers, they mentioned a couple of exceptions to this rule. You can still use online services for both Pokemon Bank and Poke Transporter, but this “may also end at some point in the future.”

What does this mean for every other game in your Wii U and 3DS library? Unfortunately, you won’t be able to play any game in online modes other than those mentioned above. This means fans of the original Splatoon, Mario Kart 8, and Smash Bros. won’t be able to play and enjoy online multiplayer. However, you can still utilize and access any offline features of games they own. Additionally, it will still be possible to download update data and redownload previously purchased software and DLC from the Nintendo eShop for the “foreseeable future.” However, as the Wii U and 3DS eShops closed last March, you can no longer make new purchases. You can only download games from your library.

The closure of these online services is most likely due to Nintendo’s continued focus on the Nintendo Switch and its upcoming successor. Maintaining servers is a costly affair, and it simply must not be lucrative enough to keep the lights on for the online portions of the Wii U and 3DS. It’s a sad day for Nintendo fans and certainly makes a case for the players to build and maintain a physical games collection. How do you feel about Nintendo closing down online servers? Let us know in the comments below! For everything else related to Nintendo, check out our Guide Hub here.