From May 23, 2022, it will no longer be possible to use credit cards in the stores, Nintendo announced earlier this year, meaning users will need to separately purchase and redeem physical Nintendo eShop cards in order to buy games and DLC after that date.
These challenges apply to North American users. Credit card support was removed from 3DS and Wii U in Europe back in 2019.
However, from August 29, 2022, it will no longer be possible to use eShop cards to add funds either. Users have until March 2023 to use any funds left in their account to buy content, after which it will only be possible to redownload owned software.
After this point, some of Wii U’s and 3DS’s eShop library will still be available as physical releases, or via other systems. However, as revealed by VGC analysis, up to 1,000 digital-only eShop games will effectively disappear for good.
Some of the more notable Wii U download-only exclusives 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, Pokémon Rumble U, Pushmo World (Pullblox World in Europe) and Shut the Box.
On 3DS, the list of games set to disappear is even larger. These include 3D-enhanced re-releases of a number of classic games, including Nintendo’s 3D Classic range, which offered stereoscopic versions of games like Excitebike, Kid Icarus and Kirby’s Adventure.
11 entries in Sega’s 3D Classics series will also be gone forever in the west. While there were three separate cartridge compilations released in Japan, only one of these was released physically in the west.
Other notable examples of games set to disappear include Chibi-Robo: Let’s Go, Photo, Dr Mario: Miracle Cure, Mario & Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge, Nintendo Pocket Football Club, Picross e – Picross e8, Pokémon Battle Trozei (Pokémon Link Battle in Europe), Pokémon Picross, Pushmo / Crashmo / Stretchmo and HarmoKnight.
Finally, the closure of the Wii U and 3DS eShops will also mean the termination of the final systems to support the Virtual Console service. Once this happens, the only retro games provided by Nintendo will be the ones available on Switch Online’s various apps.
At the time of publishing, around 350 retro games released on the 3DS and Wii U in the west are not available to play on Nintendo Switch, including over 100 Game Boy systems games, 40 TurboGrafx-16 games, 30 DS games and 35 Wii games.
For the full list of games disappearing from the 3DS and Wii U eShops, read VGC’s analysis.