3DS and Wii U eShops Officially Close Down

The eShops for both the 3DS and Wii U have officially closed down. Both of these systems had the eShop as their digital distribution services for over ten years with the 3DS eShop predating the Wii U’s by almost a year and a half.

Nintendo’s first major foray into digital game distribution was on the Wii and DSi which sold WiiWare and DSiWare titles, respectively. These evolved into the Nintendo eShop, the name of the digital distribution service on the 3DS, Wii U, and Switch. In February of last year, Nintendo announced that the eShops for the 3DS and Wii U would close in March 2023 with a later addendum stating the stores would close on March 27, 2023, at 5 pm PT.


March 27 has since arrived, and thus the eShops on the 3DS and Wii U have officially shut down. Those who try to access the eShop on either console will be notified that it is no longer possible to download new content including free demos, 3DS themes, or paid content in apps like Nintendo Badge Arcade which lost some of its functionality last week. Nintendo has affirmed on its website that online play on either console won’t be affected, and it will still be possible to receive updates and redownload content “for the foreseeable future.” The online communities for both systems have been active in recent days with some buying massive amounts of games and also paying their final tributes to these consoles’ digital libraries.

Many of the digital games on these consoles were exclusives and took advantage of their unique features such as the 3DS’ 3D display or the technology present in the Wii U GamePad. As a result, many of these games have not been ported to other consoles and are no longer purchasable through official means. This gave many even more reasons to buy these games digitally while they still could such as YouTuber The Completionist who famously spent thousands of dollars buying every 3DS and Wii U eShop game before their eShops closed for the purpose of preservation.

In the age of digital distribution, the closure of digital game stores is extremely impactful to not just game preservation efforts but also to those who simply want to be able to play games through official means. Unlike the PS3 and PS Vita whose digital stores were kept online, Nintendo did not budge in its intent to shut down these eShops. The closure of these stores was disappointing to millions, and unfortunately, this is unlikely to be the last time that gamers encounter this problem.

Source: Nintendo

Source: Gamerant

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