Nintendo Drops a Gaming Bomb: Online Play for Wii U and 3DS Restricted Sooner Than Expected

Players caught off guard as Nintendo accelerates the shutdown of online services, leaving holiday gaming plans in disarray

If you were all pumped up to wrap up your holiday break with a nostalgic session of Splatoon on Wii U or some epic brawls in Super Smash Bros. on Nintendo 3DS, well, brace yourself for a bit of a downer. Seems like Nintendo decided to pull the plug on online play for both Wii U and 3DS, catching us off guard right before Christmas Eve.

Sure, we knew this shutdown was looming, but Nintendo initially promised it wouldn’t rain on our gaming parade until early April. Surprise, surprise! The change started happening sooner, and not everyone might’ve felt the pinch just yet.

Now, Jonathan Barrow from Pretendo, the “open-source Nintendo Network replacement,” spilled the beans that this is all part of Nintendo’s slow rollout leading up to their April plans. Fingers crossed, Pretendo aims to bring our beloved online features back for these consoles.

To be fair, Nintendo never gave us a rock-solid promise about that April end-date. They hinted it could all go down “earlier than planned,” but a heads-up would’ve been nice. Imagine the missed chance for one more multiplayer Kid Icarus: Uprising showdown!

This news stings, especially after Nintendo shut down the eShops for 3DS and Wii U in March. No more grabbing new games or jumping online with the old favorites. And let’s not forget the quirky Miiverse social network, bid farewell in 2017, leaving behind a digital archive.

Out with the old, in with the new. Gaming’s a weird world where entire game generations just fade away like Goomba tears in the rain. On the bright side, who knows? Maybe we’ll get to dish out some serious cash for more remakes, with whispers of a Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon refresh hitting the Switch next year.