Update: Nintendo have shared more details about the discontinuation of the Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
As of March 27th, it will be no longer be possible to purchase content on the Nintendo eShop on those two platforms (as well as in related games/services such as StreetPass Mii Plaza, the Theme Shop and Nintendo Badge Arcade). The download of free content (demos, etc.) is also impacted.
Also, sales of the digital version of Fire Emblem Fates will end one month before the Nintendo eShop is discontinued, on February 28th. This is presumably to avoid people buying the game before they can reach Chapter 6 (which is when they can download and/or purchase the other story routes), giving them enough time to play through the first 5 chapters.
Finally, Nintendo announced that Wii Karaoke U will be discontinued on June 30th 2023 in Japan.
It’s now been nearly 12 years since the Nintendo eShop was launched on Nintendo 3DS, and 10 years on Wii U. Unfortunately, the service will soon be discontinued on both platforms. Starting in late March 2023, you will no longer be able to make new purchases or download free Software, though you will still be able to redownload content you already own… at least, for a limited time.
Do note that the Nintendo Swich platform is not impacted whatsoever: today’s announcement is exclusively about the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems!
Here’s the planning for the Nintendo eShop discontinuation on those two platforms:
- As of May 23, 2022, it will no longer be possible to use a credit card to add funds to an account in Nintendo eShop on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.
- As of August 29, 2022, it will no longer be possible to use a Nintendo eShop Card to add funds to an account in Nintendo eShop on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. However, it will still be possible to redeem download codes until March 27th 2023.
- As of March 27th 2023, it will no longer be possible to do any of the following:
- Purchase any content
- On Nintendo 3DS, this includes paid content, plays and passes in software such as StreetPass Mii Plaza, Theme Shop, Nintendo Badge Arcade and Pokémon Bank.
- On Wii U, this includes passes in software such as Wii Sports Club.
- Download demos
- Download free-to-start software
- Redeem a download code
- Purchase any content
If you still have funds on your Nintendo Network ID wallet by the time the Nintendo eShop is discontinued on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, make sure to link your ID to a Nintendo Account. This will allow you to merge your remaining balance, and then use it to make purchases on Nintendo Switch. Also, Nintendo eShop pre-paid cards with Nintendo 3DS / Wii U branding can still be used to add funds on Nintendo Switch even after the Nintendo eShop has been discontinued on those platforms.
Here’s the features that will NOT be discontinued on March 27th 2023:
- all Nintendo eShop features on Nintendo Switch
- Redownloading content you already own (games, DLC, etc.)
- Downloading Software/Firmware updates
- Online play on Nintendo 3DS or Wii U
- Download of a small selection of new Nintendo 3DS Themes
Unfortunately, Nintendo specify that users will only be able to redownload content they already own “in the foreseeable future”, which implies that it will become impossible to do at one point in the future. In other words: don’t wait before (re-)downloading anything you want to (re-)download!
About Pokémon Bank
The Pokémon Company have announced that Pokémon Bank will be impacted by the discontinuation of the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS. Starting March 27th 2023, you will no longer be able to buy new subscriptions for the service (no refunds will be offered), which will become entirely free. It will remain free to use until the service itself is discontinued at one point in the future.
However, there’s a catch: you will no longer be able to download Pokémon Bank (and Poké Transporter) as of March 27th, so if you want to keep using the service, you have to make sure to download both the Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter apps before the Nintendo eShop is discontinued on Nintendo 3DS!
Also, do keep in mind that you will still need a paid subscription in Pokémon Home to transfer Pokémon from Pokémon Bank to Pokémon Home even after Pokémon Bank becomes free to use.
About Fire Emblem Fates
Fire Emblem Fates will be impacted by the discontinuation of the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS. To be more precise, players will no longer be able to buy any DLC for the game, which includes additional maps but also Story Paths (Conquest, Birthright, Revelations). The game itself will no longer be available for purchase as of February 28th 2023.
This is particularly important for players with the digital version of the game, as this discontinuation means they could end up with an incomplete version of the game, unable to progress past Chapter 6! To avoid this, players have to do the following before the Nintendo eShop is discontinued:
- Progress all the way to Chapter 6
- Select “Branch of Fate” from the start menu
- Pick up the Story Path you want and download it for free
- If you want to check out the remaining Story Paths, you will have to buy them before late March (this also applies to players who bought a physical copy of the game)
This particular issue is due to the fact that in the digital version of Fire Emblem Fates, all Story Paths are treated as DLC (with players being able to select one for free). Indeed, there’s only one version of the game available digitally (as opposed to two for the retail version: Birthright and Conquest).
Nintendo wanted to make sure players only got to download content they have access to (and therefore allow them to save space on their SD Card), but this solution was bound to cause issues when the Nintendo eShop was to (inevitably!) be discontinued.
About Wii Karaoke U
Nintendo have announced that Wii Karaoke U will be discontinued on June 30th 2023. Here’s the planning:
- Purchase of tickets: until March 28th 2023
- Using the Software: until June 30th 2023