From March 2023, it will no longer be possible for Nintendo fans to download their games online on their Wii U and 3DS systems.
A new era at Nintendo
It’s the end of an era for Nintendo fans: by the end of March 2023, it will no longer be possible to buy games online on its Wii U or 3DS, the Japanese video game giant explained this Tuesday. So the time for these two consoles seems to have come, especially given the unprecedented success of the Switch, which represents the Japanese firm’s best-selling home console.
The services of the two consoles progressively limited
Until now, it was still possible for owners of both consoles to buy games on the Nintendo eShop, and enjoy game demos or other downloadable content for free. But as of next month, this will be a bygone era, and the services available on 3DS and Wii U will be gradually more and more limited. A decision by Nintendo that should complicate access to certain games, forcing players to turn to the purchase of second-hand titles that will become increasingly rare and expensive…
- Starting May 23, 2022, it will no longer be possible for users to use a credit card to add funds to an account in the 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 the Nintendo eShop on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. However, it will still be possible to use the download codes until the end of March 2023.
- Players who have linked their Nintendo Network ID Wallet (used with Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems) to their Nintendo Account Wallet (used with the Nintendo Switch family of systems) will be able to use the shared balance to purchase content on any of these systems until the end of March 2023. After that, the balance can only be used to purchase content for the Nintendo Switch family of systems.
Bypassing Nintendo’s rules
These changes also affect in-game purchases such as StreetPass Mii Plaza, Theme Shop and Nintendo Badge Arcade. On the other hand, several individual initiatives are expected to arise to circumvent these new rules. For example, Pokémon Bank, a free application that requires a €4.99 annual subscription to unlock all its features, will become free: if you download the software before the end of March 2023, you will be able to fully exploit it until further notice. In addition, it will still be possible for players to re-download previously purchased games and DLC , receive software updates and enjoy online play on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.
As its handheld console, the 3DS turns 11 years old, and the Wii U turns 10, Nintendo justifies its decision by pointing out that this is “part of the natural life cycle for any product line, as it becomes less used by consumers over time.”