Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS consoles will lose support for online services next year in early April, as announced by the Japanese gaming giant. This will effectively disable functionality for all online support, including multiplayer games and other features.
“As of early April 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will cease for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software. Thank you very much for your continued support of our products,” Nintendo announced on X (formerly Twitter).
However, Nintendo has chosen to make one exception in the form of Pokémon Bank. Online services for it will still function, but it too will lose support in the future. Nintendo has also made provisions to allow users to download their purchased titles from the eShop. “For the foreseeable future, it will still be possible to download update data and redownload purchased software and downloadable content from the Nintendo eShop,” Nintendo notes in its Q&A.
With online support ending, players will lose the ability to play online, but this doesn’t change the fact that they can still continue to play their games offline, including local co-op multiplayer and other single-player titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Moreover, you can always look for physical games if you want to experience the big library of 3DS and Wii U games, as those will continue to be functional. But, buying new games from the eShop would not possible as this support has already ended in March earlier this year. Simply put, if you want to play a game like Pokemon Sun on a Nintendo 3DS console, you will need to buy a physical copy of the game.
It must be noted that Nintendo discontinued the 3DS in 2020, and it has been close to three full years since. The Nintendo Wii U, which was the successor to the Nintendo Wii, was discontinued in 2017, the same year when the Nintendo Switch launched.