Last Updated on October 4, 2023
Nintendo has announced the end of online support for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software. Online play and other features that require online communication will end in early April 2024.
The announcement applies to Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo 2DS XL, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo 2DS, Wii U Deluxe, and Wii U Basic consoles.
This includes online co-op, leaderboards, and data distribution. Nintendo Badge Arcade badges for the Nintendo 3DS HOME Menu is also in the sunset phase.
The exact end date and time is yet to be confirmed, but Nintendo has emphasised that if circumstances make it difficult to continue online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software, then they may be discontinued earlier than planned.
Here is the full announcement:
Thank you very much for supporting our products.
In early April 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end for Nintendo 3DS* and Wii U software. This also includes online co-operative play, internet rankings, and data distribution.
You can find more information about badges for decorating the Nintendo 3DS HOME Menu using Nintendo Badge Arcade here.
We will announce a specific end date and time at a later date.
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.
We sincerely thank players for using the online services of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software over a long period of time and apologize for any inconvenience.
* This includes software exclusive to New Nintendo 3DS.
An FAQ has also been provided.
Some Nintendo online services remain
While this is bad news overall, there is a chink of light in some circumstances. Most notably, online services for Pokémon Bank are not affected by this. Also, the StreetPass system for communicating between Nintendo 3DS consoles will also remain, as it does not have an online server.
None of this should come as a surprise, of course. The eShop has already closed for the Wii U, and while some games were revived following an unscheduled shutdown earlier this year, the writing had been on the wall for some time.
With Nintendo likely to release a Switch 2 in the foreseeable future, it has no need to hold onto old server hardware that few still use.
Fans prepare alternate servers
While bad news, this may not be the end for the Wii U and 3DS online services…
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.