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There are three weeks left until you can no longer buy games on Wii U and 3DS eShops.
Nintendo is in the process of shutting down both digital stores completely, and players will only be able to purchase games from them until March 27th.
If you intend to purchase certain games from the Wii U or 3DS eShops but do not have sufficient funds in your account, you will need to use Switch to replenish it.
That’s because Nintendo has already removed the ability to top up Wii U and 3DS balances directly through their respective online stores.
Nintendo Removed credit card support with the 3DS and Wii U eShops last year, followed by the ability to use prepaid eShop cards.
Currently, the only way players can top up their 3DS or Wii U balance is to link their Nintendo Network ID (used for Wii U and 3DS) to their Nintendo Account (used for Switch).
This gives players the ability to merge both balances, meaning any money added in one system will be reflected in all.
So it’s still possible to top up your 3DS or Wii U by merging accounts and topping up on Switch.
However, starting March 27th, players will not be able to purchase digital 3DS or Wii U games at all, even with existing balances.
Nintendo also announced that the ability to combine Wii U and 3DS eShop balances with Switch balances will end in March 2024.
This means that if players still have an existing balance in the Wii U and 3DS eShops and do not link their Nintendo Network ID to a Nintendo Account by then, their existing Wii U and 3DS balance will effectively disappear.
However, the company assured last year that even if there will be no more transactions after March 27 (including downloads of free demos and content), the online service will not stop working completely.
“Even after March 27, 2023 and for the foreseeable future, it will still be possible to re-download games and DLC, receive software updates and enjoy online play on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS a family of systems,” the message reads.
As I found out VGC analysisup to 1,000 digital-only eShop games will effectively be gone forever once 3DS and Wii U eShop transactions end on March 27.
Some of the more notable Wii U download-only exclusives that are set to disappear for good include Affordable Space Adventures, Amiibo Tap: Nintendo’s Greatest Bits, Chasing Aurora, Dr Luigi, The Letter, Mini Mario & Friends: Amiibo Challenge, pokemon Rumble U, Pushmo World (Pullblox World in Europe) and Shut the Box.
On the 3DS, the list of games that will disappear is even longer. These include re-releases of a number of classic games with enhanced 3D, including the Nintendo 3D Classic series, which offered stereoscopic versions of games such as Excitebike, Kid Icarus, and Kirby’s Adventure.
Finally, the closure of the Wii U and 3DS eShops will also mean that the last systems to support the Virtual Console service will no longer be available. Once that happens, the only retro games from Nintendo will be those available in the various Switch Online apps.