Nintendo has confirmed that both the Wii U and 3DS digital storefronts will no longer allow new purchases of paid or free content starting March 27th, 2023. Previously, it was broadly targeting March 2023, giving gamers plenty of time to fill out their collections before they no longer have the chance to do so — legally, at least. Now, there’s a final date.
There’s a bit more urgency, however, if you were hoping to purchase a Nintendo eShop card (which are typically available at some sort of small discount) to add funds to your account on Wii U or 3DS. As Nintendo previously shared, the cutoff date to add funds via this method is August 29th, 2022, which is just over one month from the time of publishing. Those funds will be yours to use as you see fit until March 27th, 2023. Nintendo says that you’ll still be able to redeem download codes on either platform until the March 2023 closure date.
Even after the closure of both stores, Nintendo shared that you can redownload purchased games and DLC, receive software updates for them, and play games online. The company claims that this won’t change “for the foreseeable future.”
Oddly, sales of Fire Emblem Fates for the 3DS will end on February 28th, 2023, one month ahead of the 3DS eShop’s closure. Its DLC will still be available for purchase through March 27th, 2023.
Nintendo terminating support of its previous-generation consoles has caused somewhat of a spike in demand — more so for the beloved 3DS and its many iterations than the Wii U. It’s not uncommon to find local game shops selling them for close to their original retail price or well above it. It’s also not uncommon to find stores completely sold out of second-hand stock as more and more gamers try to stock up on their favorite games ahead of the cutoff.