Nintendo has a long legacy of unique consoles. Many were successful, others a failure.
The Wii U home console is one of the unfortunate latter, while the 3DS handheld device is a part of the successful category.
The console manufacturer has now provided a concrete date on when the eShop will be closed: March 27, 2023.
Nintendo fans must buy what they can before eShops for Wii U and 3DS are phased out
Given that these platforms are no longer supported, this is an understandable decision. To clarify, players must purchase whatever software and media they wish before March 27, 2023. After this date, the store will be inaccessible for making purchases.
The publisher has already discontinued credit card purchases for both eShops. As such, fans will need to resort to buying a prepaid eShop card to add funds to their wallet.
However, it is essential to note that this feature will also be discounted on August 25, 2022. To put it simply:
- Users will be able to add funds until August 25, 2022 (however, game codes can be redeemed until March 27, 2022)
- They will be able to buy games until March 27, 2022
The first question that might arise is: What about the funds that remain in the wallet after the March discontinuation? The official statement says:
"Gamers who link their Nintendo Network ID (NNID) wallet (used with Wii U and the 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 March 27, 2023. After that, the balance can only be used to purchase content for the Switch family of systems."
In a nutshell, players can use the remaining balance towards Switch eShop purchases after linking their NNID post-closure. Conversely, until the deadline, the Switch balance can be used to purchase Wii U and 3DS content.
Note that the closure will also affect themes (except select ones), free-to-play games, game codes, and demos. None of these will be accessible from March 2023 onwards.
What does discontinuation allow fans to do?
Post eShop closure, users will continue to be able to re-download purchased content from their library. Since Big N has no plans to disable the online features of Wii U and 3DS games (just yet), they will also be able to receive and download any subsequent software updates.