Nintendo Plan To Shut Down eShop Purchases On 3DS And Wii U In March 2023

Get Those Late Purchases In


Today was a day many of us knew would eventually come, though perhaps it came a bit sooner than expected, at least for the 3DS. Nintendo announced tonight, late in the evening, that they plan to end the ability to purchase new games on the 3DS and Wii U eShop as of March, 2023.

This is very much the sort of news you drop late at night to try to avoid too many people noticing. That’s a shame as one of the last moves Nintendo will make regarding either of these platforms. While the Wii U struggled throughout much of its life, it still is home to a number of wonderful games and while most of them are now available on the Switch, there are still a few notable exceptions. The 3DS meanwhile has a huge library of huge hits that will no longer be available without buying a physical copy. Considering how expensive some of the system’s games are getting, that’s not ideal. It’s quite surprising for a system that saw as much success as the 3DS as well. I would have expected at least that system to get a few more years.


Still, you have over a year to grab any last digital purchases you want on these systems. Don’t wait too long though. In May of this year the ability to add funds from a credit card will end and in August the ability to add it from a points card. Since those cards will continue to work on Switch though, it remains to be seen if that might be a work around after that point should you use the same account on both devices. Nintendo also clarified that you’ll continue to be able to download existing purchases for the foreseeable future. Online play will also continue to work on both systems so you don’t have to move to Splatoon 2 or 3 if you don’t want to.

Notably, this change will also impact software with subscription or ongoing fees on the platforms, including Pokémon Bank. In good news for fans, however, the Pokémon Company at least for a time plan to make that software free, though notably you’ll need to have downloaded it before the option goes offline next March. Still, for many who use the service to store decades worth of Pokémon, this will certainly come as a relief.


Andrew Thornton
Andrew has been writing about video games for nearly twenty years, contributing to publications such as DarkStation, Games Are Fun, and the E-mpire Ltd. network. He enjoys most genres but is always pulled back to classic RPG's, with his favorite games ever including Suikoden II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Phantasy Star IV. Don't worry though, he thinks new games are cool too, with more recent favorites like Hades, Rocket League, and Splatoon 2 stealing hundreds of hours of his life. When he isn't playing games he's often watching classic movies, catching a basketball game, or reading the first twenty pages of a book before getting busy and forgetting about it.

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