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As the Nintendo Switch approaches the end of its lifespan, it becomes easy to forget about the systems that for a lot of people have long since gone to the wayside. These older consoles still hold a special place in the hearts of many fans – especially the games and features that only live on them. Sadly, everything has to come to an end, and as of April 8th, 2024, the online services for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U family of systems will shut down for good.



What will still be available after the online services end for the 3DS and Wii U?


The first question that jumps to many people’s minds is whether or not their favorite games will still have online features after the shutdown. Generally speaking, most software that has online functionality will lose access to it. Games will still be available to be played offline of course, and for the foreseeable future it will still be possible to download update data and purchased games from the eShop as well. Furthermore, Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter will still be usable afterwards, although it is unknown for how long. Lastly, StreetPass will still function as normal since it uses local communication, although SpotPass will not.



The most missed games on 3DS and Wii U


Though many games will miss their online features, a handful of games in particular will truly become shells of their former selves: Splatoon, Super Mario Maker, Mario Kart 7 and 8, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, and Kid Icarus: Uprising to name a few. All of these games either focus heavily on playing online, or are fan favorites for their online multiplayer. 



With the eShop already down as well, it is increasingly difficult to access the games exclusive to these systems such as Xenoblade Chronicles X, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and many more. At the very least, the soundtracks of these games can be found on the internet, including a fan compilation of all of the eShop themes that you can read about in our compilation of 3DS and Wii U soundtracks feature if you’re feeling especially sentimental. 


3DS and Wii U shutdown mark the end of an era


The shutdown of the Wii U and 3DS online services for many is an end of an era. These systems created countless fond memories and experiences for millions around the world, and while they’ll be missed, it’s important to always remember the good times that were had. In our ode to the 3DS article, we said that we felt that the 3DS might be the best Nintendo console ever made, and many out there feel the same. The Wii U too holds a special place in the hearts of many for the innovative games and features it explored, in a way even being a spiritual precursor to the Nintendo Switch. May these two wonderful systems rest in peace, and live on in the hearts of many for years to come. 


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Written by Abbie Maxwell

Lifelong Nintendo fangirl, Abbie holds a special place in her heart for video games. She has always strived to provide tips and tricks to make the experiences of those who share her passions that much better.