Online services for Nintendo’s Wii U console and 3DS handheld will be shut down in April 2024.
The Japanese gaming giant made the announcement early on October 4th on social media. In an accompanying page on its Support site, Nintendo clarified that this will happen sometime in “early” next April, with a “specific end date and time” to be announced “at a later date.”
As part of the shutdown, online play and other game functionality that uses online communication will no longer operate. This includes online leaderboards and data distribution.
Nintendo notes that support will also end for third-party games, with “some exceptions,” and it advises players to reach out to the appropriate publishers of specific titles for more information.
With all of that said, Nintendo says you’ll still be able to redownload previously purchased games and downloadable content “for the foreseeable future.” Additionally, the Pokémon Bank cloud service, which lets players store thousands of captured Pokémon, will also remain accessible for the time being. However, given the service’s age, you might want to transfer those Pokémon to the more recent Pokémon Home service if you haven’t done so already.
The shutdown of 3DS and Wii U online services follows the March closure of both platforms’ respective digital storefronts. As it stands, Nintendo plans to support the current-gen Switch system with new games until at 2025, so presumably, online services will last even longer.
The company is expected to launch a Switch successor sometime next year.