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Nintendo KILLS OFF 3DS & Wii U Online Servers

Nintendo KILLS OFF 3DS & Wii U Online Servers

Ah, 2024, the year where the gaming industry’s motto seems to be, “Why keep things alive when you can just kill them off?” This week’s sacrificial lamb: The online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software.

Nintendo KILLS OFF 3DS & Wii U Online Servers
Another one(s) bites the dust

But don’t fret, for we are given plenty of advance notice and heartfelt thanks, as if that’s going to make us feel better about the gaming landscape turning into a barren wasteland.

Per Nintendo:

As of early April 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end service for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software. Thank you very much for your continued support of our products.

Yes, indeed, come early April 2024, your favorite titles on the 3DS and Wii U will lose their online play, rankings, co-operative modes, and data distribution. Remember those intense Mario Kart races with friends from across the globe or that feeling of elation when you climbed the global rankings? Well, Nintendo wants you to cherish those memories, because they’re about to become just that: memories.

And for those who think, “Oh, it's just the old consoles,” let's remember the days when these were the pinnacle of gaming. How fleeting fame is, right?

Let’s dissect the heart of this announcement, which graciously states: “Please note that if an event occurs that would make it difficult to continue online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software, we may have to discontinue services earlier than planned.” Oh, really? So, while they've currently set a termination date, if things get “difficult,” they reserve the right to just pull the plug sooner? Comforting.

To answer the burning questions:

  • Offline Play? Yes, the functionality that should’ve been there from the start will remain. Phew! It’s not like games were meant to be played offline or anything.

  • Some Online Services Still Available? Pokémon Bank lives to see another day! (But don’t get too attached.)

  • What about other publishers? You’ll have to knock on their doors. Nintendo’s washing its hands of this one.

  • Downloading Updates & Purchases? The eShop’s still alive. But like an old dog, we don’t know for how much longer.

  • StreetPass vs. SpotPass? StreetPass stays, SpotPass says sayonara. Your Mii Plaza escapades remain intact, minus the fun online bits.

In a world of constantly evolving gaming technology, it seems our favorite companies are more than happy to keep us on our toes (and not in the fun, dance-off kind of way). So, pour one out for the online gaming days of yore on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. And maybe start penning those eulogies for other services; at this rate, who knows what's next on the chopping block?


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Nintendo lost me when they killed the Wii U and 3DS eShops. The Switch is an outdated, nothingburger machine and most of the cool functionality of the last 15 years of games is virtually defunct. How much you wanna bet they forgo backwards compatibility for the "Switch 2" so they can peddle the fifteenth Mario Kart 8 and Luigi's Mansion ports?

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