The fateful date has arrived: Nintendo Wii U and 3DS eShops close their doors permanently. In fact, starting today, March 27, 2023, you will no longer be able to buy anything from the Wii U and 3DS eShops, although you will be able to continue downloading the games you have already purchased and playing online with friends.
Nintendo Wii U and 3DS, the eShops of the two consoles are closed
Nintendo had already announced the closure of the two eShops in progress last year, giving bad news to those who still adore these platforms, especially for those who love indie and retro games. The Wii U and 3DS eShops are home to hundreds of digital-only titles, many of which have never been released on other platforms. Among them are such pearls Dr. Luigi, Pokemon Rumble U, Pushmo, Pokemon Picross and many more, available digitally only. Some of these games could be gone forever if Nintendo doesn’t bring them to Switch or other devices.
But the saddest thing is the loss of securities in Virtual Console, the service that allowed you to buy and play old classics from Nintendo and other manufacturers. On Wii U and 3DS it was possible to find games for NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, DS and Wii. Some of these games are available on Switch through a Nintendo Switch Online membership, but many more are not – at least 335.
For example, on Wii U you could play a Super Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid Prime Trilogy, EarthBound e Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. On 3DS you could play The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX, Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, Wario Land 4 e Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land. The fact that physical copies of these games have had an increase in price suggests that many gamers still love them.
The hope is that Nintendo will find a way to preserve its gaming heritage and to make these games available on its future consoles as well. Because maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but some of these games are true masterpieces.