Online functionality for the majority of 3DS and Wii U games will end in April 2024, as Nintendo announces those services are to be shut down.
If you still enjoy visiting friends’ towns in Animal Crossing: New Leaf or playing a few matches of the original Splatoon, brace yourself – Nintendo has announced that it’s to end online play services for the 3DS and Wii U in early April 2024.
This means that, by next spring, a huge number of games for those systems will only be playable offline – though Pokémon Bank, the paid-for service that allows players to transfer data between Pokémon games – is getting a stay of execution.
Nintendo of America first broke the news on Twitter (or X, if you must), with a simple message stating, “As of early April 2024, online play and other functionality that sues online communication will end service for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software.”
A Q&A on Nintendo’s website elaborates a little further, pointing out that users will still be able to download previously purchased software, DLC and update data from the eShop, while things like StreetPass and StreetPass Mii Plaza will still work, but online elements, like SpotPass, will cease to function.
It’s the latest in a series of closures as Nintendo winds its support for the Wii U and 3DS to a close. The 3DS ceased production in 2020, while the eShop for both that handheld and the less-popular Wii U console was closed down on 28 March 2023.
With the 3DS era well and truly over, and the Switch generation now well into its sixth year, anticipation continues to grow for the latter system’s successor. Reports continue to circulate that the Switch 2 – or Switch U, or whatever it ends up being called – could be with us by the middle of 2024.