Get games before March 27th, 2023: Nintendo to close Wii U & 3DS eShops

Nintendo has confirmed that the Wii U and 3DS digital storefronts will no longer allow new purchases of paid or free content starting March 27th, 2023.

Previously, it was broadly targeting March 2023, giving gamers plenty of time to fill out their collections before they no longer have the chance to do so — legally, at least. Now, there’s a final date.

There would be a bit more urgency, however, if you were hoping to purchase a Nintendo eShop card to add funds to your account on Wii U or 3DS. As Nintendo previously shared, the cutoff date to add funds via this method is August 29th, 2022, just over one month from publishing. Those funds will be yours to use as you see fit until March 27th, 2023. Nintendo says that you’ll still be able to redeem download codes on either platform until the March 2023 closure date.

Even after the closure of both stores, Nintendo shared that you can redownload purchased games and DLC, receive software updates for them, and play games online. The company claims this won’t change “for the foreseeable future.”

Oddly, sales of Fire Emblem Fates for the 3DS will end on February 28th, 2023, one month ahead of the 3DS eShop’s closure. However, its DLC will still be available through March 27th, 2023.

Nintendo terminating support of its previous-generation consoles has caused a spike in demand. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find local game shops selling them for close to their original retail price or well above it. It’s also not uncommon to find stores completely sold out of second-hand stock as more and more gamers try to stock up on their favorite games ahead of the cutoff.

Nintendo Co., Ltd., a Japanese multinational video game business, has headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. It designs video games and video game consoles.

Nintendo was launched in 1889 as Nintendo Karuta by craftsman Fusajiro Yamauchi and initially produced handmade hanafuda playing cards. After embarking on various lines of business during the 1960s and gaining legal status as a public institution, Nintendo distributed its first console, the Color TV-Game, in 1977. It gained international acclaim with the release of Donkey Kong in 1981 and 1985 for Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Mario Bros.

Since, Nintendo has produced some of the most thriving consoles in the video game industry, like the Game Boy, the Nintendo DS, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the Wii, and the Switch. In addition, it has created numerous significant franchises, including The Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, Animal Crossing, Splatoon, Star Fox, Xenoblade Chronicles, Mario, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Metroid, Fire Emblem, and Super Smash Bros. Nintendo’s mascot, Mario, is internationally recognized.

Nintendo has numerous subsidiaries in Japan and abroad and business partners such as The Pokémon Company and HAL Laboratory. Nintendo and its team have received awards, including Emmy Awards for Technology & Engineering, Game Developers Choice Awards, Game Awards, and British Academy Games Awards. In addition, it is one of the Japanese market’s wealthiest and most valuable companies.

The Wii U’s heir in the eighth generation of video game consoles, the Nintendo Switch, was released in March 2017. The Switch features a hybrid structure as a home and handheld console, Joy-Con controllers containing a gyroscope, an accelerometer, and the simultaneous wireless networking of up to eight consoles. In addition, to expand its library, Nintendo entered alliances with several third-party and autonomous developers; by February 2019, higher than 1,800 Switch games had been released.

Worldwide sales of the Switch surpassed 55 million units by March 2020. In addition, the Nintendo Labo line, consisting of cardboard complements that interact with the Switch and the Joy-Con controllers, was released. More than one million divisions of the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit were marketed in its first year on the market.

In 2018, Shuntaro Furukawa substituted Kimishima as company president, and in 2019, Doug Bowser succeeded Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé. In April 2019, Nintendo allied with Tencent to distribute the Nintendo Switch in China starting in December. In April 2020, ValueAct Capital Partners announced the acquisition of $1.1 billion in Nintendo stock purchases, providing them an overall stake of 2% in Nintendo. On January 6th, 2020, hotel and restaurant development company Plan See Do announce that it would renovate the former headquarters of Marufuku Nintendo Card Co. as a hotel, with strategies to add 20 guest rooms, a bar, a restaurant, and a gym, with a planned opening date of mid-2021.

The structure belongs to Yamauchi Co., Ltd., an asset management company of Nintendo’s founding family. Further, the original 19th-century headquarters was destroyed and turned into a parking lot. Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused uncertainties in the production and distribution of some of Nintendo’s products, the situation “had limited influence on business results”; in May 2020, Nintendo said a 75% increase in income compared to the earlier fiscal year, mainly contributed by the Nintendo Switch Online service. In addition, in August 2020, Nintendo was anointed Japan’s wealthiest company.

Nintendo revealed plans in June 2021 to convert its former Uji Ogura works, where it had previously made recreating and Hanafuda cards, into a museum for the company to be achieved by the 2023 fiscal year. The facility has been vacant since these operations were transferred to a new Uji plant in 2016.

Nintendo, co-producing an animated Super Mario film with Illumination, and Miyamoto and Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri is producing, set for release in 2022. In 2021, Furukawa suggested Nintendo’s plan to create more animated projects based on their job outside the Mario film. By July, Melendandri hooked the board of directors “as an autonomous and non-executive outside director” to help Nintendo produce other movies through his filmmaking experience. Furukawa assured me that work on other animated projects was presently underway.

According to Furukawa, the company’s growth toward animated production is to keep “business thriving and growing,” realizing the “essential to create opportunities where even people who do not usually play on video game systems can arrive into contact with Nintendo characters.”

Miyamoto said that they “really came to understand the Nintendo point of view” and that “asking for input, as an expert with many years of experience in Hollywood, will be of great help to” Nintendo’s transition into film production.

In February 2022, Nintendo revealed the acquisition of SRD Co., Ltd. (Systems Research and Development) after 40 years, a significant contributor to Nintendo’s first-party games like Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda till the 1990s, and then support studio since.

In May 2022, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund purchased a 5% stake in Nintendo.