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Nintendo Will Close Wii U, 3DS Digital Stores on March 27, 2023

No changes are planned for the Switch's eShop, though.

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The Wii U and 3DS eShops will close next March.
Sarah Tew/CNET

If you want to buy digital games for your Nintendo Wii U or 3DS, you have until March 27, 2023, to do so, Nintendo said Tuesday. Any download codes you have must be redeemed by this date as well.

Digital sales of the 2016 tactical RPG Fire Emblem Fates will end on Feb. 28, 2023, the company noted.

Nintendo already cut off the ability to add funds to your account in these eShops via credit card in May, but you can do so with a Nintendo eShop gift card until Aug. 29, 2022. If you link your Nintendo Network ID wallet (used with Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS eShops with your Nintendo Account wallet (used with the Nintendo Switch eShop), you can use the shared balance to purchase content on any of these systems until March 27, 2023.

You'll still be able to to redownload games and downloadable content, receive software updates and play games online on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS "for the foreseeable future," Nintendo noted, so it isn't cutting off those systems' online features just yet.

There are no changes planned for the Nintendo Switch eShop.

Nintendo Switch Online lets you access a library of retro games from the Nintendo 64, SNES, NES and Sega Genesis, but you have to connect to the internet once a week to authenticate your subscription. By contrast, the Wii U and 3DS let you buy individual games from a wider range of systems (like the DS and various Game Boys) and the eShops' closure will remove access to 1,799 titles, according to IGN.

The Wii U holds the distinction of being Nintendo's worst-selling console, with 13.56 million units sold. By contrast, the Switch has sold more than 100 million units. The 3DS was more successful, with 75.94 million units sold but is still the company's least popular handheld. The DS was its most popular handheld, with 154.02 million units sold.

Sony was planning a similar shutdown for digital stores on PS3, PS Vita and PSP last year, but fan outcry pushed the company to partially reverse that decision by keeping the PS3 and Vita stores open.

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This is why I'm pretty good at Mario Kart 8.

Nintendo

In February, Nintendo also added a website feature allowing you to look at your Wii U and 3DS play history

I spent 172 hours playing my Wii U, across 23 different games. Mario Kart 8 was my most-played title, at 68 hours. I spent 270 hours on my 3DS, on 64 different games. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D was my main game, at 33 hours.

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A slightly obscure Resident Evil spinoff was my top 3DS game.

Nintendo