Nintendo will shut down online servers for 3DS and Wii U games in early April 2024, with the exception of Pokémon Bank.
The announcement came in a tweet (below) and in an update to Nintendo support website, where the publisher thanked players for using its devices but stressed that the shutdown would take place after only six months. A specific closing date will be announced later.
“In early April 2024, online play and other functionality that uses an online connection for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software will end,” the post reads. “This also includes online cooperative play, online rankings, and data distribution.”
Effective early April 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online connectivity with Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software will end. Thank you very much for your continued support of our products.
Find out more: https://t.co/nOyzBImHCE
– Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) October 4, 2023
Although Nintendo said plans are subject to change and will likely arrive sooner than announced, the one exception to the rule is Pokémon Bank, which will remain online but “may also end at some point in the future.”
The predecessor to Pokémon Home, Pokémon Bank essentially connects all digital Pokémon Game Boy games with Game Boy Advance, DS, and Nintendo 3DS titles. It’s also the only way to transfer Pokémon from these games to Nintendo Switch via Pokémon Home.
“Please note that if an event occurs that would make it difficult to continue online services for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Software, we may have to discontinue services earlier than planned,” the publisher added. “We sincerely thank players for using the online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U over an extended period of time and apologize for any inconvenience.”
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Games can still be played offline on these platforms, of course, and beloved 3D social interaction game StreetPass will still be around thanks to its use of local connections and not online services.
The shutdown isn’t particularly surprising in the context of the Switch’s end-of-life, let alone its Wii U and 3DS predecessors. The online stores for both consoles were also closed in March 2023, meaning no new games can be purchased on either platform.
The end of the Switch is being discussed at Nintendo, although the publisher has promised that it will continue making new games until at least 2025. It is reportedly scheduled to launch its next-gen console during the second half of 2024.
Ryan Dinsdale is a freelance reporter at IGN. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day long.
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