Nintendo has announced that users will no longer be able to purchase games on the Wii U or 3DS Eshop digital stores as of March 2023.
According to an official statement by Nintendo:
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.
This will also apply to any games with purchasable content like DLC.
This means that you will have just over a year or so to buy new games from these console’s Eshops. While this arguably isn’t too big of a deal for the Wii U as most of its best games are now available on other systems (even much of its virtual console has been ported), it could be an issue for those wishing to play 3DS games.
The 3DS is home to some stellar games, not only great Nintendo first-party but also some high-quality niche titles like Bravely Default and Shin Megami Tensei IV. If you haven’t gotten around to these, now would be a great year to invest in your 3DS library.
It’s reasons like these that we would love it if older Nintendo titles could be brought to the Switch (and not for a stupidly high price).
Nintendo has said that users will still be able to redownload any games that they already own as well as any software updates for these titles even after the 23rd of March for the foreseeable future.
Pokemon Bank will become free
The Pokemon Company has also announced that in response to the 3DS Eshop closure, the Pokemon Bank application for 3DS will now be free of charge.
— ポケモン公式ツイッター (@Pokemon_cojp) February 16, 2022
“We have released a notice that the “Pokemon Bank” service will be free of charge due to the termination of the “Nintendo eShop” service of the Nintendo 3DS series. From the end of March 2023, we plan to make the service free for a certain period of time.”
The app, which originally charged an annual fee of $4.99 USD, allowed users to store their pokemon and transfer them between the 3DS pokemon titles. The service will become free on March 23rd, the same day that the sales for the Eshop close. Do note, that you still need to download the title before the Eshop’s closure in order to use it.
Pokemon users can also transfer Pokemon from Pokemon Bank to its Nintendo Switch Equivalent Pokemon Home which will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future.