The Nintendo eShop was originally launched the same year as the Nintendo 3DS in 2011. The eShop was the successor to the Wii Shop Channel and DSi Shop, both of which have since been discontinued. Sadly, the Nintendo eShop will be following in their footsteps, at least for the 3DS and Wii U consoles. As of March 2023, the Nintendo eShop will close for the 3DS and Wii U. The consoles that will be affected include the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, New Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo 2DS, New Nintendo 2DS XL, Wii U Basic, and Wii U Deluxe. The discontinuation of the eShop on the 3DS and Wii U does not affect Nintendo Switch players. The eShop for the Switch will continue to operate as normal.
What does this mean for 3DS and Wii U players? Without the eShop, you will no longer be able to make purchases using this service. As well as games, you will also not be able to download free content, including game demos. This also affects passes, such as those in software like Wii Sports Club. You will also no longer be able to make purchases through platforms such as StreetPass Mii Plaza, Theme Shop, and Nintendo Badge Arcade.
As of late March 2023, it will no longer be possible to make Nintendo eShop purchases for the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.
More info: https://t.co/uGoxCcDZ70
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) February 16, 2022
The eShop for the 3DS and Wii U will officially close in late March 2023. However, it’s important to be aware that leading up to that date, some services will close before then. From May 23, 2022, you will no longer be able to use a credit card to add funds to an account in the eShop on the 3DS or Wii U consoles. From August 29, 2022, you will also not be able to use a Nintendo eShop Card to add funds to an account in the eShop on the 3DS and Wii U consoles. However, you will still be able to redeem download codes until March 2023. Additionally, users who have linked their Nintendo Network ID wallet with their Nintendo Account wallet can used the shared balance to make purchases on the 3DS and Wii U until March 2023. After that, purchases can only be made for the Nintendo Switch.
The announcement that the closure of the Nintendo eShop for the 3DS and Wii U doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, as both families of consoles have been discontinued. Production for the Wii U ended in 2017, and the 3DS consoles in 2020. It is always sad whenever a console reaches the end of its life, with its services coming to an end. However, even though the eShop is closing, it does not mean the end of support for the 3DS and Wii U. You will still be able to redownload previously purchased games and DLC, the consoles will still get software updates, and you can still play games online. Also, Nintendo have created a website showcasing various play statistics from the 3DS and Wii U for nostalgic players.