Wii U & Nintendo 3DS Online Services Will Close Next Week

Online play for Wii U and 3DS games ends very soon, and we've got the details here!
Super Mario 3d Land Bowsers Fury
Image: Nintendo

Nintendo is set to end online services for the 3DS and Wii U platforms on April 8, 2024. This will affect online features within games, including multiplayer gameplay, leaderboards, and online data distribution provided by Nintendo. It is normal for online features to end on older consoles, but it’s strange to think about how old the 3DS and Wii U are.

While players can still enjoy their games offline, removing online features will greatly affect the experience of many games. There will be no more multiplayer, downloadable DLC you haven’t purchased, or anything you would use the online services for that you don’t currently own. This marks the end of an era for these two older Nintendo consoles.

Last year, the 3DS and Wii U eShops closed, stopping the sale of new digital titles to the consoles. Now, the online services for these platforms are also ending, which is pretty much the last part of it all. Notably, Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter will still be available. This is due to it being mostly separate from Nintendo’s specific online features for those consoles. Pokémon tends to be special and get its own services. However, Nintendo has suggested that support for these tools may eventually be discontinued too.

The shutdown may affect online features differently for games released by other companies. Some games use servers and networks outside of Nintendo. You’ll have to contact these places or see their changes to see how they’ll operate.

You can still do online things, which is why I specified the purchasing aspect. 3DS and Wii U owners will still be able to download updates and redownload previously bought software and content. The StreetPass feature, which involves local wireless communication between 3DS systems, will remain accessible. However, SpotPass, which relies on internet communication, will no longer work.

The discontinuation of online services is a normal part of gaming console lifecycles. With Nintendo’s emphasis on the Nintendo Switch, this shift is necessary. The Switch is kind of the next step in handheld and consoles for Nintendo. This was their way of merging the two. Again, anyone with a Wii U or 3DS has until April 8, 2024, before online services shut down.

Jorge A. Aguilar

Jorge A. Aguilar

Jorge A. Aguilar, also known as Aggy, is the current Assigning Editor.

He started his career as an esports, influencer, and streaming writer for Sportskeeda. He then moved to GFinity Esports to cover streaming, games, guides, and news before moving to the Social team where he ended his time as the Lead of Social Content.

He also worked a writer and editor for both Pro Game Guides and Dot Esports, and as a writer for PC Invasion, Attack of the Fanboy, and Android Police. Aggy is the former Managing Editor and Operations Overseer of N4G Unlocked and a former Gaming editor for WePC.

Throughout his time in the industry, he's trained over 100 writers, written thousands of articles on multiple sites, written more reviews than he cares to count, and edited tens of thousands of articles. He has also written some games published by Tales, some books, and a comic sold to Telus International.

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