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The Wii U & 3DS eShops are closing in March 2023, Pokemon Bank becoming free-to-use

Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS eShops have been active for a decade now. However, that is unfortunately about to change. Nintendo has announced earlier tonight that “as of late March 2023, it will no longer be possible to make Nintendo eShop purchases for the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems”.

Nintendo also says that “even after late March 2023, and for the foreseeable future, it will still be possible to re-download games and DLC, receive software updates and enjoy online play on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems”. This will include Pokemon Bank, which will become free-to-use after March 2023. However, if you do not already have it downloaded on the handheld, it will no longer be available to download from the 3DS eShop.

So, why are these two eShops closing? According to Nintendo, it is because it is “part of the natural lifecycle for any product line as it becomes less used by consumers over time”. They also state that, “at this time”, they do not plan to make any changes to services or functions of the 3DS and Wii U. Nintendo’s official tweet relaying the matter is down below.

27 thoughts on “The Wii U & 3DS eShops are closing in March 2023, Pokemon Bank becoming free-to-use”

  1. Well that’s a pleasant surprise. I thought Bank would’ve become irrelevant and cut off the connectivity between the ds games to other generations when the shops were closed.

        1. Everyone forgetting that the Wii U let you play DS games on the tv. That’s a really cool thing that will be lost now

        2. Aw, man, what a stinker. Might just have to dig out my Wii U and download a couple of Visual Console games that otherwise might just never be available again. Of course I understand the necessity to close down shops eventually, but it always stinks.

        3. This was going to happen eventually. Sad but everything does come to an end. Having said that I still use my 3DS a lot, at times more than my Switch. I have a large backlog of games still to play and I enjoy classic Pokemons. Its portability also can’t be beaten by Switch.

        4. Well, that’s just great. Looks like 3DS game prices are gonna start skyrocketing even more now…

          This is about a year or two too soon, in my opinion. Even the Wii shop lasted 13 years, but this will end the 3DS’s eShop at about 11 1/2 years and the Wii U’s eShop at about 10 1/2 years (and the PS3’s store was only attempted to be closed after 14 years). I still regularly go on the 3DS eShop to buy games, so this just sucks, not even mentioning every digital-only game that will be lost (legally) after this, like Rhythm Heaven Megamix and Picross 3D Round 2 in the US.

          I just hope Nintendo is met with as severe backlash as Sony was when they tried to close the PS3/Vita store.

          1. This only affects digital not physical beside since the pandemic started finding a decent 3ds at a good price is hard to find nowadays anyway. hacking is most likely the only way you’ll be able to re-experience these games, considering how crap Nintendo is at persevering their games.

          2. “This is about a year or two too soon, in my opinion. ”

            How are you defining the appropriate time? Wouldn’t that be defined by how much people actually use those shops, not some arbitrary milestone?

            Do you have any data on how many people are using the Wii U eshop?

            1. I don’t. To be honest, I checked my email when I got up and saw this news and made an angry comment about it without fact checking anything, assuming I was right while half awake. Basically, I thought the Wii shop was open for 13 years so the 3DS and Wii U shop should have gone on for that long too. Then I realized that the Wii shop was actually only around for a little over 12 years, which is only a little bit longer than how old the 3DS eShop will be when it closes.

              I still don’t like this closure one bit because a lot of physical 3DS games have soared to absurd prices since the start of the pandemic, and this will only worsen that problem. Also now the only way to get some expensive Wii/GBA/DS games on Wii U for cheaper is going away in a year, so I’m not happy about that either.

          3. The end of an era. I better take a good look at the 3DS shop after any games I would like before they become unavailable.

            1. It makes me feel bad because I vastly prefer the VC on Wii U vs the NSO apps. I feel like we’re losing the last legit way to “own” legacy games with the Wii U eshop closing.

            2. Do they like nostalgia or not? Cause in a month people won’t be able to buy any gameboy games. Yea yea end of a cycle sure sure, so when is that new cycle going to start?

            3. Here’s my fix. Nintendo puts an emulation pack of every gameboy game, in one download, doesn’t cost a penny. That way they don’t have to worry about paying for rights. I dont trust them to select and release games to their online service. Give us every gameboy game you can, for free.

            4. I agree, Sony made an announcement in March 2021 about closing the PS Store for PlayStation 3 and Vita. They later retracted that announcement and said they made the wrong decision. I guess Sony leared from shutting down PlayStation Home that it’s not so much of “The natural life cycle for any product line it becomes lessed used”
              It’s about loyalty and consumers still willing to use the service and support it.

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