Nintendo has announced that online play and functionality for the Wii U and 3DS consoles will shut down in April 2024, just over one year after the eShop for both systems closed down.
There isn’t currently a specific date for when this will terminate, but it’s anticipated to be “early April.” Nintendo plans on announcing a more specific end date and timing at a later date, as announced in their support blog post. This means that games on both systems will only be playable offline, which will be pretty detrimental to games with such an emphasis on players coming together to play such as Splatoon on Wii U.
However, not only will this affect the ability to connect with other players online, but online rankings will also be wiped. So, if you are holding any rankings for any titles, you’ll have to prepare to say goodbye come April since you’ll no longer be able to access them. Nintendo’s full tweet can be seen below:
As of early April 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end service for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software. Thank you very much for your continued support of our products.Find out more: https://t.co/3UsgJjVKGaOctober 4, 2023
Nintendo has also emphasized that this only applies to online connectivity within games rather than with the console as a whole, so you will still be able to download games and reinstall any software you’ve purchased once online play is no longer available.
While this termination is scheduled for April, Nintendo has also announced 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.” So it’s worth keeping tabs on Nintendo’s social media should anything change between now and next year.
It’s worth checking out the best Nintendo 3DS games while you still have access to online play, but if you’re looking for a game to play on Nintendo’s newest system, you might want to check out the best Nintendo Switch games.
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Kara is an Evergreen writer at TechRadar Gaming. With a degree in Journalism and a passion for the weird and wonderful, she's spent the last few years as a freelance video game journalist, with bylines at NintendoLife, Attack of the Fanboy, Prima Games, and sister publication, GamesRadar+. Outside of gaming, you'll find her re-watching Gilmore Girls or trying to cram yet another collectible onto a shelf that desperately needs some organizing.