When does the 3DS and Wii U eShop close? Nintendo eShop Closing Guide

Image: Nintendo Life

It’s been over a decade (or almost a decade in the case of the Wii U), but it’s finally happened: Nintendo is shutting down the Wii U and 3DS eShops, which means you’ll soon be unable to buy digital games. on either platform.

Of course, this change won’t happen until March 2023, which means there’s still time to grab all the downloadable games you can put in your digital arms and run. But with support for credit card payments ending earlier on May 23, 2022, and Nintendo eShop cards ceasing to be redeemed from August 29, 2022, we want to make sure you get those games on time and that you don’t miss – fund-related mishaps.

We also have guides to know exactly which games you should panic buy before they all run out like toilet paper in 2020. Here’s our list of the best 3DS eShop exclusives for beginners, and we’ll give you the Wii U one when it’s ready.

Here’s everything you need to know about 3DS and Wii U eShop closures, all in one convenient place!

3DS and Wii U eShop Shutdown Guide – When, How, WHY?!?!

When does the Wii U eShop close?

Closing of the Wii U Online Store will happen in a while end of March 2023.

When does the 3DS eShop close?

The 3DS eShop shutdown will also happen in a while end of March 2023. We don’t yet know if it’s the same day as the Wii U shutdown, although it seems likely.

What does the closure of the eShop mean?

Basically, this means that you will no longer be able to purchase or download new games from the eShop on the 3DS or Wii U after March 2023nor will you be able to purchase game content, download demos or freeware, redeem download codes, or add funds to your account on 3DS or Wii U.

You will be able to re-download purchased content after the March 2023 deadline for an undisclosed time.

Can I still add funds to buy games?

Yes, but only until May 23, 2022 if you use a credit cardand only until August 29, 2022 if you purchased an eShop card.

NEVERTHELESS! Currently, if your Nintendo Network IDs (used on 3DS and Wii U) are linked to your Nintendo Account (used on Switch), your eShop funds are split between the Nintendo Switch eShop and the 3DS/Wii U eShops.

This will be the case until March 2023, so you will still be able to add funds by doing so on the Switch, but only if your Nintendo accounts are linked.

You can learn more about how to link your accounts by clicking here.

Why does this happen?

Here is Nintendo’s statement on the matter:

“This is part of the natural life cycle of any product line as it becomes less utilized by consumers over time. We are providing this notice more than a year before purchases are completed so that users have sufficient time prepare.”

Does this affect the Nintendo Switch eShop?

No, the Nintendo Switch eShop will still work fine. Who knows, it might work even better now that Nintendo has more free servers, but let’s not count our eShop chickens before they’ve hatched.

But no. Realistically no effect on the Switch eShop.

Can I still redownload games?

As long as you already own a game on 3DS or Wii U, you can redownload it of the eShop “for the foreseeable future”.

This means re-downloading will still be possible after March 2023, but we don’t know for how long.

What about online gambling?

Good news: online play will also still be available “for the foreseeable future” for any titles you already own, after March 2023.

Again, we don’t know exactly how long.

Can I still download software updates?

Software updates will also be available “for the foreseeable future”.

Can I still download free software?

Freeware, including “free-to-start” software like Nintendo Badge Arcade, will be available for download until March 2023. After that, it will disappear along with the rest of the games.

What about Virtual Console?

Unfortunately, Virtual Consoles – which used to house over 530 classic games, available to buy and download – won’t be gone after March 2023.

Nintendo’s FAQ on the subject of eShop closures first addressed this issue, but the details were soon removed from the page. Here’s what they originally said (you can also click here to access the archived page yourself):

Once it is no longer possible to purchase software from the Nintendo eShop on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, many classic games for previous platforms will no longer be available for purchase. anywhere. Are you going to make classic games available to own in another way? If not, then why? Doesn’t Nintendo have an obligation to preserve its classic games by continually making them available for purchase?

In our Nintendo Switch Online subscription plans, over 130 classic games are currently available in growing libraries for various legacy systems. Games are often enriched with new features such as online play.

We believe this is an effective way to make classic content easily accessible to a wide range of players. In these libraries, new and long-time gamers can not only find games they remember or have heard of, but also other fun games they might not have thought to look up otherwise.

We currently have no plans to offer classic content in any other way.

What does it mean that they removed this section from the FAQ? We can’t say. We can hope that Virtual Console will return one day, but for now, that’s just a hope.

Nintendo’s position is that the Nintendo Switch Online service will replace Virtual Console, but with no Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, DS and Wii games available on Nintendo Switch Online, this will take a while. long time to catch up.

Will this affect physical games?

No, physical games will still work fine. As long as you take good care of it.

Can I still buy Nintendo eShop cards that say they are for Wii U/3DS? Will they work on Switch?

If you visit a store that still sells eShop cards for the Wii U and 3DS, you can still buy them – they’ll work just fine on the Nintendo Switch, and you can grab the codes from the Switch eShop.

Can I still purchase in-game content?

After March 2023, you will no longer be able to purchase in-game content, including:

  • Everything from Nintendo Badge Arcade
  • StreetPass Mii Plaza DLC games
  • All themes from the 3DS Theme Store
  • An annual pass for the Pokémon Bank
  • Pass and DLC for the various sports of the Wii Sports Club

However, Pokémon Bank will become a free service after March 2023, so you probably shouldn’t pay for it anyway.

Can I redeem game download codes?

You will be able to redeem download codes until March 2023.

Can I still download and purchase 3DS themes?

Yes and no. You won’t be able to buy new ones after March 2023, but you will be able to download “a small number of free themes”.

Which means you should pick up all the SEGA-themed villains ASAP.


So, in summary: it happens, you have a year to get all the games, and then you won’t have time. ALWAYS. All digital media is fleeting and we are all slowly crawling to the grave, buy video games while you can. And preferably, buy them physically – because who knows when they will be cruelly snatched from you.

If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer them.

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