Nintendo will not allow you to purchase digital games for Wii U and 3DS after March 2023

The Nintendo Switch has been Nintendo’s flagship console for many years, but the company has yet to open the Wii U and eShop on the Nintendo 3DS for people who want to buy games on those sites. In March 2023, however, that will no longer be the case – Nintendo will not allow you to purchase items on the Wii U or Nintendo 3DS eShop “in late March 2023”. The company announced Tuesday.

Nintendo will slowly make changes to eShop purchases until that time:

  • May 23, 2022 Credit card can not be used to add funds to your eShop accounts on Wii U or 3DS devices.
  • On August 29, 2022, you will not be able to add money to your accounts on those devices using eShop gift cards.
  • If you have any download codes you will not be able to use them after March 2023.
  • You will not be able to use your Nintendo Wallet account (assuming you have linked your Nintendo Switch account to your old Nintendo Network ID account) to purchase Wii U and 3DS content after March 2023.

The company did not completely cover things for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. “Even after late March 2023, in the future, you can re-download games and DLC, get software updates, and enjoy playing online on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS family systems,” Nintendo says. However, demos and free software will not be available after March 2023.

Nintendo has announced these changes in both the US and Japan.

As for why this is happening, Nintendo says ventilation is “part of the natural life cycle of any product line because it is less used by consumers over time.” These changes should make you aware that you have less time to buy virtual console games on both platforms. Nintendo offers many of its classics as part of it Nintendo Switch Online Subscription ServiceThat library is smaller than what can be purchased separately on a virtual console.

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When Nintendo first published a support article on the changes, it included a section on “How to Stop Buying Anywhere Many Classic Games for Past Platforms Nowhere”. The answer was that Nintendo Switch pointed to online and stated that “we currently have no plans to offer classic content in any other way”. However, that section was removed from the support article shortly after it was posted.

Update on February 15, 8:51 PM ET: Nintendo removes answers to questions about classic game security.

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