Nintendo Shuts Down 3DS, Wii U Online Feature

Nintendo shuts down yet another 3DS and Wii U online feature as both consoles move closer to the end of their product lifecycles.


Nintendo had shut down yet another 3DS and Wii U online feature earlier this week. As of Tuesday, the 3DS and Wii U no longer support native image sharing via Facebook and Twitter, as per Nintendo’s recently updated support pages.


The gaming giant has been actively working on sunsetting the Wii U and 3DS for the better part of this year. In doing so, the company is hoping to streamline its infrastructure and optimize upkeep by focusing all of its resources on supporting the massively successful Switch ecosystem. The straightforward strategy hasn’t been well-received by the public, inviting criticism that Nintendo is destructive toward gaming history.

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Nintendo already detailed the image sharing service shutdown last month, confirming that it’s disabling the 3DS and Wii U feature globally. As part of the same end-of-service wave, the company is no longer allowing users to log into their Nintendo accounts on a 3DS or Wii U using Facebook and Twitter profiles. It’s unclear whether Apple and Google logins will meet the same fate prior to the system-wide discontinuation of all online services, but they are still supported as of right now.

This week’s development brings the Wii U and 3DS yet another step closer toward their end-of-life threshold. The next major blow to the consoles’ online functionality is scheduled for March 27, when the Wii U and 3DS eShop is shutting down globally. While Nintendo will still allow users to redownload their existing libraries of games and DLC for the foreseeable future, the only legitimate way to buy new Wii U and 3DS games past March will be to hunt down their physical copies, which are becoming increasingly rare and cost-prohibitive. The discontinuation will come exactly six years after the company shuttered the Nintendo DSi Shop.

Since Nintendo Switch sales are still going strong after five and a half years, the decision to focus on the latest ecosystem is par for the course for the Tokyo-based conglomerate. Particularly seeing how the Switch managed to combine its console and handheld expertise into a somewhat natural successor to both the 3DS family of systems and Wii U.

The only issue is that Nintendo’s track record suggests it will take years and at least one more console generation before any of the most popular 3DS and Wii U games are once again conveniently available for purchase at a reasonable price. While the company dabbled in first-party emulation in the past, it currently appears to be more interested in releasing full-priced remakes than populating its Switch Online catalog of classics or turning the service into something more reminiscent of the 3DS Virtual Console.

Source: Gamerant

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