Are the Wii and 3DS digital stores down in 2022?


image: Nintendo / Kotaku

Bad news for anyone trying to re-download some old 3DS digital games or Wii titles through their respective consoles’ respective store channels: Currently players are reporting that both channels are down and have been for a few days. Many are now concerned that the channels may not return and potentially lock away a lot of digital content that people owned and didn’t previously have a chance to download possible surprise shutdown.

As discovered by Eurogamerit seems that since March 16, the official Nintendo 3DS and Wii Shop Channels were offline. If this shutdown is permanent and these stores never return, then they appear to have been shut down by Nintendo without warning.

Be clear: We knew Nintendo had plans to limit what you can do in the 3DS shop later this year and into 2023, including blocking users from adding more funds to their account. And you won’t be able to buy anything from the Wii Shop Channel since 2019.

In both cases, however, Nintendo did not announce any dates or concrete plans for the complete closure of these stores. If they actually shut down for good with no heads up, that’s bad.

The possible early and unannounced closure of these stores is a big deal for many. Once (or if) these digital stores permanently close, you will not be able to re-download content that you previously purchased there. Many gamers would probably like a few months to download and install some of their favorite or hard-to-find 3DS and Wii exclusives before the door to the servers is closed forever.

kotaku has reached out to Nintendo to say the stores have been down for days and if there are any plans to bring them back online.

Over on the announcement page for the news that Nintendo is ending support for the 3DS and WiiU stores, that’s what the publisher said about the futureEmphasis from me:

“Even after the end of March 2023 and for the foreseeable futureit will still be possible Download games and DLC againget software updates and enjoy online games on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS family systems.”

And over on the support page announcing their plans for the Wii Shop Channelyou’ll find a similar message, although at least Nintendo does recognize it will probably shut it all down someday and again, emphasis mine:

“But, for the time being, you can still re-download purchased content or transfer this content from a Wii system to a Wii U system. Note that These features will eventually be retired at a later date.”

Still, pulling the plug on these deals without warning seems pretty crappy. It’s also possible that this is just an extended period of downtime due to behind-the-scenes issues or technical issues of which we are not aware. If so, Nintendo has yet to publicly acknowledge the outage or its cause (as of March 20 at 3:15 p.m. EST).

Another interesting thing is that some players reported the possibility of still being able to download games and DLC through third-party tools like NUSDownloader. This seems to imply that the servers are still somewhat active, but the storefronts are down for unknown reasons. Are the Wii and 3DS digital stores down in 2022?

Curtis Crabtree

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