Nintendo 3DS And Wii U eShops Are Closing But That's Not The Worst Part For Retro Gamers

Wii U Console and Gamepad
Nintendo has been making a lot of headlines lately. Some of them are positive, like finally adding a new installment to the Wii Sports series. Other times, not so much, like litigation against homebrew tools and YouTube playlists.

Well, the headlines for Nintendo this week are rather depressing. The eShop for the mega-popular Nintendo 3DS platform and the less popular Wii U are shutting down. Ultimately the shutdown for the services is not planned until May 23, 2023, but utilizing Nintendo gift cards on them will not be possible starting August 29, 2022. Download redemptions will continue to be available after the shutdown dates.

platform memories
Nintendo published a Q&A page related to the decision. When considering long-term maintenance and ongoing cost perspective, it does make sense. The Nintendo Switch is portable and Nintendo's best-selling system ever, and it does effectively replace the Wii U and 3DS. They do, of course, want to fuel your nostalgia by providing a Memories tool, which lets gamers log into their account and see how much time they wasted, err, how much fun they had on the platforms.

There is, however, some worry from gamers who care for the systems that their access to classic games from the two platforms may not be as available through the Nintendo Switch or future consoles, and that concern does not go unfounded. While the FAQ has since pulled the phrasing, there was an entry earlier that stated, "We currently have no plans to offer classic content in other ways." You can view that change when comparing the FAQ linked above to this page on the Wayback Machine.

3ds memories
It's hard not to want to speculate what Nintendo might do in the future to provide playability for these platforms or classic games. Especially considering the 3DS has been on the market for more than a decade, depending on the region. The next longest for Nintendo seems to be between the GameBoy and GameBoy Color, at nine years. That is a long time for a game console, considering the last generation of systems from Sony and Microsoft only lasted about seven years before the current generation was released.