It’s the beginning of the end for the 3DS and Wii U’s online services. Nintendo has formally announced that owners of those systems in select regions will soon no longer be able to redeem download codes, redownload software or update software. Nintendo also mentions that “any software that requires the limited Nintendo eShops to operate may cease to function.” The wording here is key. Nintendo has noted that this closure will be of limited Nintendo eShops. These are eShops that are hosted for smaller countries. As a result, the closure will only be for the eShops in Latin America and the Caribbean, minus Mexico and Brazil; Mexico has a “full Nintendo eShop” and Brazil also has a full 3DS eShop, but none at all for Wii U.
These closures will not have an effect on Wii U and 3DS systems that are in larger regions like North America, Europe, and Asia. So, the greater number need not worry—yet.
Considering that Nintendo is already beginning to take action with the closures of so-called limited eShops for these aging systems, it does seem likely that full-on closures will come about soon enough. Trying to pin a date on that is pointless, however. Either way, it seems that if and when it does happen, both the Wii U and 3DS will go down together rather than one before the other.
The Wii U and 3DS are both region-locked, unlike any other system currently on the market. That’s why this discontinuation of services is happening on a region-by-region basis. The aforementioned closures will occur on July 31, 2020. Nintendo recommends that all owners in the affected countries redeem unused download codes, update all software, and re-download any previously-downloaded software.
Last year, Nintendo finally shut down the Wii Shop Channel after 13 years of service. So, technically, it outlived the Wii U and 3DS eShops.
If you’re wondering if you’re in one of the affected countries, here’s the full rundown:
Anguilla, Antigua/Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Cost Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent/Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands, Uruguay, Venezuela.