The Nintendo eShop for the Wii U and 3DS game consoles has officially closed as of March 27. As a result, placing new purchases on the eShop storefront is no longer supported on these consoles. Purchases include digitally exclusive games, making it increasingly challenging to preserve these titles for the future.
Last year, Nintendo announced the future closure of the Wii U and 3DS eShop due to "the natural life cycle for any product line as it becomes less used by consumers over time." The arrival of each new console can effectively mean the loss of a previous one as modern technology takes precedence. As console gaming moves into its ninth generation, the digital storefronts from previous generations are gradually disappearing.
Despite the advance notice, the move has sparked strong emotions from fans in the wake of losing access to digitally exclusive game titles. Many fans are feeling a great deal of sadness caused by nostalgia for a blissful era and a sense of loss over a cherished part of their childhood.
To commemorate the closing of the Nintendo eShop on 3DS and Wii U today I made this little picture.
— Ben M R Hall (@benmrhall) March 27, 2023
“Today is a really sad day for the Nintendo community, the eShop is permanently closing. The 3DS has a really special place in my heart, it is and always will be my favourite video console ever,” stated @carefulmemes via Twitter.
The closure of Nintendo's Wii U and 3DS eShops marks the end of an era and represents a setback for video game preservation efforts. The eShop closures make playing older games not only more difficult, but in some cases, almost impossible. Consequently, the closures further challenge video game preservation in the gaming industry. Video game preservationists are putting forth efforts to safeguard older games, with the goal of allowing future generations to appreciate and enjoy the games of earlier times.
Nintendo shutting down the WII U and 3DS storefronts makes preserving video games more important! It is sad to see this happen for sure! It always makes me glad though we got emulation to help preserve some of the experiences! Really upsetting to see this happen!
— SplashFinesse87 🍁 (@SlashWarrior87) March 27, 2023