Wii U

With Nintendo closing 3DS and Wii U digital stores, where does that leave video game preservation?

One thousand. That, give or take, is the number of digital-exclusive games estimated to become unavailable for purchase once Nintendo’s 3DS and Wii U digital stores are shuttered. For everyone except those who already own affected games – a situation soon to present challenges of its own, given that credit card and eShop Card functionalities will be disabled in May and August respectively – they will effectively vanish in March 2023, unable to be downloaded ever again.

Nintendo has argued that the move is part of the “natural lifecycle for any product line as it becomes less used by consumers over time”. In a now-deleted statement, the company pointed to the availability of over 130 “classic games” on its subscription service Switch Online as “an effective way to make classic content easily available to a broad range of players”. But that service doesn’t include either of these consoles’ libraries.

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