Nintendo has confirmed it will end online support for the 3DS and Wii U consoles in April 2024. The announcement was made on their official support page, outlining what gamers can expect when the online services are shut down. This move seems logical given Nintendo’s ongoing shift toward the Nintendo Switch and a rumored new model to launch in 2024.
Once the services go offline, everyone will lose access to several features, including online co-op games, internet rankings, and data sharing. While offline modes will still be playable, any part requiring an internet connection will no longer function.
The only Nintendo-provided service set to continue beyond April 2024 is Pokémon Bank, although even this could be terminated later. In addition, Nintendo has mentioned that certain third-party games might keep their online services running, although they did not provide further specifics.
As per the official Q&A:
Will I still be able to play offline even after online services end?
Yes. Players will still be able to use features and game modes that do not require online communication.
Will any online services still be available even after online services generally end?
It will still be possible to use online services for the following software but that may also end at some point in the future.
- Pokémon Bank
Are you also ending online services for software from publishers other than Nintendo?
With some exceptions, online services will end for all Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software. Please contact publishers for information about the online services for their software.
Will it still be possible to download update data or purchased software?
For the foreseeable future, it will still be possible to download update data and redownload purchased software and downloadable content from Nintendo eShop.
When online services end, will StreetPass and SpotPass no longer be available either?
StreetPass uses local communication between Nintendo 3DS family systems, meaning that it will still be available even after online services end. However, because SpotPass uses online communication, SpotPass features will no longer be available.
For example, you will be able to use StreetPass in StreetPass Mii Plaza, which is pre-installed on Nintendo 3DS family systems, but you will no longer be able to use features that use online communication (such as receiving new panels in Puzzle Swap).