Nintendo has officially announced that it will shut down the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Online Play starting sometime next year.
Back in March 2023, Nintendo shut down the Nintendo eShops for both systems. Even though that happened, players were still able to use online services in-game like online multiplayer and rankings. This will change next year, unfortunately.
As of April 2024, online services will be shut down. All games will only be playable offline when this happens. Games that feature online gameplay will be impacted like the original Splatoon game on Wii U.
“In early April 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software,” said on the official support site. “This also includes online co-operative play, internet rankings, and data distribution.”
Nintendo revealed that it will announce the specific date and time of closure at a later date. It does note that if there is an event that will make it hard to continue the online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software, Nintendo will have to shut down the services earlier than expected.
Players can still play games offline after online services end and the Pokemon Bank will still have its online functionality.
Nintendo clarified that this is only for the in-game online functionality. Players can still download update data or redownload purchased software and DLC from the 3DS and Wii U eShops.