Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShops are now officially closed

eshops closed

Nintendo officially closed down the 3DS and Wii U’s eShops in the early hours of this morning, over a decade after launch.


It’s the end of an era. At 1am on the 28 March, Nintendo closed the 3DS and Wii U's respective online stores for good.

Of course, if you’ve been following any kind of gaming news at all, you’ll have seen that the internet’s been awash with posts warning about the closure and providing curated lists of games worth purchasing before the curtain fell.

All the same, it’s a significant moment for both platforms, given that the eShop was a pivotal element of the 3DS since its launch in 2011. For a generation of players now in their 20s and 30s, the eShop has played at least a small part in their formative gaming years.

Nostalgia aside, there’s the question of game preservation. As many as 1,000 games for the 3DS and Wii U were digital only, which means that, as of early this morning, those titles are at risk of vanishing for good. Certainly, there’s no legal way of accessing such gems as Pocket Card Jockey on the 3DS or Affordable Space Adventures if you haven’t purchased them already.

There are also titles like the BoxBoy series, which only got a limited physical release in Japan. Titles such as those can be expensive to import, and because the 3DS is region locked, will also require a Japanese handheld to run. Playing BoxBoy suddenly got an awful lot harder.

Last week, YouTuber The Completionist spent 12 months downloading every title from the Wii U and 3DS shops. The process cost him a startling $22,000.

Attempt to access the eShop on 3DS or Wii U now, and you’ll get variations on the following message:

Nintendo eShop – It is no longer possible to make purchases in Nintendo eShop for the Wii U system. It is also no longer possible to download free content, including game demos.

On YouTube, TheRetroPal took a moment to record the eShop’s Wii U closure for posterity.

Here’s hoping that at least some of the Wii U and 3DS’ exclusive, digital-only titles get a new lease of life on other systems. More people need to sample the delights of Pocket Card Jockey.

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