Nintendo eShop closing for 3DS, Wii U next year – Here’s something you might want to do now

Gamers with international tastes might not want to wait for the last chance to get Japan-exclusive games.

For some time now, by Nintendo the strength hasn’t been in the peak performance specs of its hardware, but the fun-to-play factor of its systems’ software. This translates to Nintendo consoles having the most popular retro libraries in the industry, but time is ticking even for them, and the company has announced the closure of the eShops of two systems.

The 3DS and Wii U were Nintendo’s last standalone handheld and home consoles before the convergence brought about by the Switch. Although the 3DS and Wii U debuted nearly two years apart, in February 2011 and November 2012, respectively, their digital days will end simultaneously on March 28 in Japan (and March 27 in the US, effectively the same day, due to time difference). This is when Nintendo will end the eStore service for the 3DS and Wii U, which means users will no longer be able to purchase or download new software for both systems.

▼ Mr. Sato still has fond memories of the friends he stood in line all night to buy a Wii U (while cosplaying as Dragon Quest Slime, as he so often did back then ).

Although March 28 is still several months away, there’s another date to know if you’re a player with international tastes. At 1 p.m. on August 1, the Japanese Nintendo eStore will remove the ability to add money to the Nintendo Network ID prepaid balance.which are used for online transactions for the 3DS and Wii U. While buyers will still be able to purchase games using a credit card until March 28, the Japanese Nintendo eShop generally requires credit card purchasers to use a card issued in Japan. So players outside of Japan who want to buy games from the Japanese eShop (for example, if the game hasn’t been released in other regions), often have to buy a prepaid eShop card to add to their game balance. Nintendo Network ID with Japanese. eShop, then use that prepaid balance to purchase the game. However, prepaid Nintendo Network ID balance additions are no longer allowed after August 30, so you’ll need to top up your account now if you want to continue using this process to purchase Japanese games.

However, there is a workaround for this problem. The eShop lets you combine a Nintendo Network ID with a Nintendo Account, as the new user registration format for the Switch is called. Adding balance for Nintendo Accounts will continue as usual even after disabling the feature for Nintendo Network IDs. However, the more hurdles you have to go through while navigating multi-country e-commerce registration, the more likely one of these loopholes will close, so if there are 3DS downloads or Old-school Wii U you’ve been eyeing, you might want to pick them up before the end of August. This doubles if you own a 3DS or Wii U but not a Switch, and therefore don’t have a Nintendo Account.

Additionally, Nintendo released an update statement to let everyone know that Fire Emblem iflike the Japanese version of Fire Emblem Fates is titled, will, for some mysterious reason, become unavailable for digital purchase at 9 a.m. on February 28, a full month before the rest of the 3DS eShop closes.

▼ So keep that in mind if you wanted the “skinship” gameplay mechanic that was removed from the North American release.

Nintendo Japan says that after 9 a.m. on March 28, any unused Nintendo Network ID balances can be transferred to corresponding Nintendo Accounts, and they are also considering implementing a refund system for unused amounts. Another silver lining is that online play support for the 3DS and Wii U will continue, and Nintendo says you’ll still be able to redownload games you’ve previously purchased but deleted from your device even after March 28. although it warns that eventually redownload support will also be discontinued.

Source: nintendo, Twitter/@nintendo_cs
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