End of the online line for two systems that never entirely got out of their predecessors’ shadows.

Nintendo’s 3DS and Wii U both had pretty hard acts to follow, coming immediately after the phenomenally successful DS and Wii. Still, the successor systems aren’t without their fans, and there’s some sad news for them.

Nintendo has announced that it will be ending online services for both the 3DS and Wii U within the next six months or so. Currently, the company says that “online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software” is scheduled to cease in early April. However, within the same statement Nintendo also says “if an event occurs that would make it difficult to continue online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software, we may have to discontinue services earlier than planned,” so really the timetable should be taken as online services ending in early April at the latest, if not before.

On the bright side, 3DS/Wii U update data will remain downloadable, as will downloads of already purchased digital versions of games, even after the online play shutdown. However, in the Japanese-language version of the announcement, Nintendo says that “These services are also planned to be discontinued in the future,” so if you’ve been putting off updating or downloading anything for the two systems, you might want to get that done sooner rather than later. Nintendo also says that online Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter services will continue, but, again, that they “may also end at some point in the future.”

The end of online service also means the end of SpotPass functionality, However, 3DS owners will still be able to play multiplayer games that operate through its StreetPass mode, which creates a communication network directly between multiple 3DS systems themselves. So if you can get a group of like-minded retro game fans within StreetPass range, you’ll still be able to race against each other in Mario Kart 7 or team up to hunt the monsters of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, for example.

The upcoming discontinuation of online services follows last spring’s moratorium on Wii U repairs and the closing of the 3DS and Wii U eShop.

The 3DS and Wii U were originally released in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Considering that it’s now been three years since the 3DS was discontinued, and six years for the Wii U, this is probably as long an online run as could have been expected for either. So while this is a bittersweet moment for fans, we’ll be doing our best to look back on the happy times we had with the systems…

…like cosplaying through the night in Akihabara for the Wii U launch day.

Source: Nintendo (1, 2)
Top image: Wikipedia/Evan-Amos, Wikipedia/Gnash (edited by SoraNews24)
Insert image ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!