With a history spanning over a decade, both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U have had their fair share of ups and downs. This week, Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe have jointly announced the cessation of “online play and other functionality that uses online communication” for these beloved platforms in early April 2024. This follows the earlier shutdown of the eShop online store for both platforms in March.
Specifics on The Shutdown
Nintendo’s statement clarified that functions like co-op play, internet rankings, and data distribution will be affected. However, there is some ambiguity in the timeline, as the exact shutdown date will be announced later. Nintendo also highlighted that if unforeseen circumstances arise that hamper the provision of online services, they might have to pull the plug earlier than the tentative April deadline. Despite this, there is some reprieve for fans: updated data for both systems will remain downloadable, along with the already purchased digital versions of games.
- While the online Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter services will continue for the time being, their future remains uncertain. Players are encouraged to transfer their Pokémon to Pokémon HOME soon.
- SpotPass functionality will come to an end. However, 3DS owners can still enjoy multiplayer games using the StreetPass mode.
Timeline of the 3DS and Wii U
The Nintendo 3DS made its debut in February 2011, with multiple variants launching over the years. It stopped production in 2020. On the other hand, the Wii U, released in 2012, didn’t fare as well as its predecessor. This console saw its production end in 2017, five years after its introduction.
Variants of the Nintendo 3DS:
- Nintendo 3DS (February 2011)
- Nintendo 3DS XL (2012)
- Nintendo 2DS (2013, 2016 in Japan)
- New Nintendo 3DS and XL (2014 in Japan, 2015 in North America)
- New Nintendo 2DS XL (July 2017)
Pokémon Bank – What You Need to Know
While online services for the 3DS and Wii U are winding down, the Pokémon Bank remains functional. This service facilitates the transfer of Pokémon across various games. As the official Play Pokemon Twitter account urges players to migrate their Pokémon to Pokémon HOME, there are several games compatible with Pokémon Bank:
- Pokémon Black and White series
- Pokémon X and Y
- Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
- Pokémon Sun and Moon series
- Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow (3DS Virtual Console)
- Pokémon Gold and Silver (3DS Virtual Console)
Earlier, Pokémon Bank was a paid service, akin to Pokémon HOME. However, with the 3DS eShop going offline, digital purchases of older Pokémon games ceased. Yet, on the bright side, Pokémon Bank transformed into a free service, permitting all players to transfer their Pokémon to Pokémon HOME.
Remembering the Classics
Both the 3DS and Wii U housed numerous iconic games that defined a generation. Titles like “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds”, “Super Mario 3D Land” for the 3DS, and “Super Mario Maker”, and “Splatoon” for the Wii U, became instant classics. Many of these titles introduced gamers to new worlds, characters, and gameplay mechanics that have since become a staple in Nintendo’s roster of games.
With StreetPass on the 3DS, gamers from all corners of the globe could connect like never before – and let me tell ya, it really fostered a feeling of togetherness amongst users. And then you’ve got the short but sweet reign of Wii U’s Miiverse, an innovative platform where players flocked together to exchange stories, doodles, and winning tactics. Talk about ahead of their time! With these features, Nintendo made it crystal clear they weren’t just about crafting games – they were in the business of building communities.
As we bid adieu to the ever-so-popular online services for 3DS and Wii U, almost a decade after their releases, it’s bound to touch some raw nerves. But hey, let’s not dwell on the bittersweet part of it, or rather celebrate the convivial memories they’ve spun over the years! These lil’ fellows have managed to make an impact on millions across our lovely blue marble.
Now, just wrap your head around this – progress in technology is always two-faced, right? On one hand, it bolsters growth but on the other hand, it does quite a number by rendering older systems obsolete. That said, fair dues to these platforms – 3DS and Wii U -they’ll never be pushed off into obscurity. Despite flying off in different directions with their successes and failures alike, they’ve left prints all over Nintendo’s solid legacy. Their offerings were unlike any other; take 3DS’s mesmerizing 3D visual magic or Wii U’s groundbreaking touchscreen gameplay for instance.