Nintendo continued its gradual winddown of the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U's supported features this week by announcing that early next year, online play for the two dated devices will be shuttered completely. This means that that come April 2024, you'll no longer have the opportunities to play games like Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U online. Other online services like rankings for online games as well as the Nintendo Badge Arcade found on the 3DS are also set to be shutdown in the same timeframe, though Nintendo hasn't shared specifics on when these shutdowns will happen.
The declines of the 3DS and Wii U have been on their way for a long time now with things like social features and payment options being retired over time, so this next step was an expected one even if online play will be a bigger sting for those still using these older devices. Similar to how the other features were nixed, Nintendo shared a new support article on its help site outlining what the current plans are for these 3DS and Wii U features.
Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Losing Online Services
The support site says that "online services will end for all Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software" which encompasses pretty much the entire libraries those platforms boast, though there are some exceptions. The Pokemon Bank storage system, for example, will still be usable, and people will be able to download updates for different games on the off chance that one is released. Online play being taken away is the biggest part of this change with no online multiplayer options available whatsoever after this change happens. Offline play will of course still be possible.
"In early April 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software," Nintendo said. "This also includes online co-operative play, internet rankings, and data distribution."
But what about some of the atypical features offered on the 3DS? The Nintendo Badge Arcade is one of those, a way to customize your home screen with unique badges. Users will see error screens after the feature shuts down in April, and it'll no longer be possible to drop badges into the box.
"Once service ends, badges obtained in Nintendo Badge Arcade will continue to be available for decorating the Nintendo 3DS HOME Menu," Nintendo said. "However, it will no longer be possible to place badges in the badge box, meaning that users will only have access to a maximum of 100 categories and 1,000 badges that are in the badge box. We recommend that users finish placing badges before the end of services for this software."
For those who get that little dopamine hit by finding another 3DS user via the system's StreetPass feature, you'll be happy to hear that StreetPass will remain intact since it uses local communications, not online. SpotPass, however, will not be so lucky and will be shutdown as well.
Nintendo said it'll provide a more specific date closer to time regarding when all these features would end.
Related Forum: Gaming Discussion