Nintendo may have killed 3DS and Wii U online, but fans have revived it

nintendo wii u console
Credit: Nintendo

nintendo wii u console
Credit: Nintendo

Indie developers have created a replacement network, Pretendo, that allows players to keep playing 3DS and Wii U games online after Nintendo shut down their networks.

As of April 8, Nintendo's servers for its legacy consoles, the 3DS and Wii U, have been officially deactivated. This effectively cuts off these devices from the network, making online multiplayer impossible.

However, thanks to the work of a group of independent developers, owners of these legacy devices can continue to play their games online. This is thanks to Pretendo, an open-source replacement network that can be accessed free of charge using 3DS and Wii U devices.

The Pretendo network is more than just a replacement for Nintendo's servers. It's a community that aims to preserve connectivity between users of the two legacy consoles. To this end, the developers are working hard to bring as many games into Pretendo as possible.

Based on the video by Modern Vintage Gamer, there are at least three fan favourites already on the Pretendo network. These are: Splatoon, Mario Kart, and Super Mario Maker.

To access Pretendo, players would need to hack their 3DS devices first. Once unlocked, they can install the exploit onto their devices and connect to the fan-made substitute network.

The developers previously required Wii U devices to be hacked as well before they can access the network. However, with the Nintendo Network fully shut down, they instead released an SSL exploit that would allow stock Wii U devices to directly access Pretendo.

The developers revealed in a recent blog that the exploit, which affects the Wii U’s 5.5.5 SSL module, has been around for a while. They didn't publicise the bug until after the shutdown as they waited for Nintendo to patch it out, which didn't happen.

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