3DS and Wii U online services have less than 3 months left as Nintendo confirms date of shutdown

Nintendo 3DS
(Image credit: Tinxi/Shutterstock)

Nintendo has now confirmed the specific date and time that online services will be shut down for 3DS and Wii U software, and there’s less than three months to go. 

Specifically, the services will close for good on April 8 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET, which is the equivalent of April 9 at 12am GMT or 9am AEST. This confirmation isn’t too shocking, as we knew last October that the services would be terminated in “early April,” but this is the first time that Nintendo has stated exactly when things will come to an end.

The company has also reiterated that “if an event occurs that would make it difficult to continue online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software, we may have to discontinue services earlier than planned.” Needless to say, if you want to get your fill of For Glory on Super Smash Bros 4, trade some Pokémon in X and Y, or get one final taste of the original Splatoon, it’s worth doing so sooner rather than later.

It’s also worth pointing out that the deadline to merge funds from your 3DS and Wii U Nintendo Network ID with your Nintendo Switch eShop balance is March 11 at 10pm PT, which is March 12 at 1am ET, 5am GMT and 4pm AEDT. If you have any leftover money remaining on your Nintendo Network ID, be sure to merge so that it’s not lost.

With the exception of the date announcement, it doesn’t appear that any of Nintendo’s plans surrounding the termination of the 3DS and Wii U online services has changed. Like in October, Nintendo stated that it’s planned to keep the applications Pokémon Bank and Pokémon Transporter up and running even beyond April 8. 

For those unfamiliar, Pokémon Bank and Pokémon Transporter combined can be used to transfer Pokémon from the fifth generation games (Black, White and their sequels) to the sixth and seventh generation games (X, Y, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, and Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon respectively). Only from there can players then transfer their Pokémon to Pokémon Home - the app used to store Pokémon on Nintendo Switch for use in the latest games. 

Without these apps, Pokémon from older games may get stuck on their original cartridges forever, which is why it’s a relief that online services will continue to be supported. With that said, Nintendo has stated that this “may also end at some point in the future,” so keep that in mind.

In addition, it’ll still be possible to both redownload eShop games and downloadable content (DLC), as well as update data from the Nintendo eShop on 3DS and Wii U “for the foreseeable future.”

If you’re on the lookout for some new games to play, be sure to check out our recommendations for the best Nintendo Switch games, as well as our roundup of upcoming Switch games releasing on the console soon.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.