Nintendo has revealed plans to completely remove online play from all 3DS and Wii U games next year, hurting retro fans again. However, the Pokémon Bank application remains safe, allowing players to continue transferring their teams from older games to Pokémon Home on Switch.
An official FAQ released by the company shows just what this full online shutdown means for 3DS and Wii U fans. Online play for games like Mario Kart 8, Splatoon, and Smash 4 (3DS & Wii U) will be removed in early April 2024.
The company does claim that certain exceptions will be made to games with online play, though the only confirmed app is Pokémon Bank. Fans hoping to get some multiplayer fun from Super Kirby Clash or Tekken Tag Tournament 2 better hurry, since their online presence won’t last.
It’s a shame but a lot of Nintendo fans saw this coming after the 3DS and Wii U eShops were permanently closed this year. Games like Dillon’s Rolling Western, Pushmo, and HarmoKnight are now lost to time unless Nintendo plans on re-releasing them. While the company did say online play would remain for the foreseeable future, that future is arriving early next year.
Pokémon Bank might be safe for now but we still think fans should transfer the critters they want to Home while the option is there. Admittedly, that means a paid subscription to Home, which is pretty annoying, but it’s the only way to keep your Rowlet or Greninja on Switch. Well, at least until The Indigo Disk DLC comes to Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
Unfortunately, it’s not just Nintendo fans who are seeing these older games ripped from online stores. Microsoft recently announced that the Xbox 360 store would be shutting down, making hundreds of games unavailable to the masses. You better download those classic Mortal Kombat games while you can.
Fans have until April 2024 to enjoy these older Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games with online play. Expect fan servers for Splatoon or Mario Kart 8, if the Wii is anything to go by.