If you're still looking to add digital games to your Wii U and 3DS systems, you'll have to do so quickly, as Nintendo announced that it will no longer be possible to purchase games for these systems on the eShop by March 2023.
This announcement means that gamers who prefer purchasing games digitally as well as any DLC are running out of time. As of February 2022, Nintendo has rereleased ports of a number of Wii U games, including Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors, and Pikmin 3, however a number of 3DS games such as Fire Emblem: Awakening, Fire Emblem: Fates, Pokemon X/Y, and more remain exclusively available on the handheld systems.
In a Q&A section online, Nintendo states that this is happening because it is "part of the natural lifecycle for any product line as it becomes less used by consumers over time," and that they are announcing this a year ahead of time to give users plenty of time to prepare.
While March 2023 is still quite far into the future, there are some other earlier dates to be aware of if you plan on expanding your digital gaming library:
- May 23, 2022: It will no longer possible to use a credit card to add funds to an account in Nintendo eShop on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS.
- August 29, 2022: It will no longer be possible to use a Nintendo eShop Card to add funds to an account in Nintendo eShop on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS, however you can still redeem download codes until late March 2023.
Anyone who links their Nintendo Network ID wallet (used for the Wii U and 3DS) with their Nintendo Account wallet (used for Switch) can use their shared balance to purchase content on any of these systems until late March 2023. After that date, you can only purchase content for the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo also states that this change will simultaneously take effect in software on the Wii U and 3DS where it is possible to make purchases, such as StreetPass Mii Plaza, the Theme Shop and Nintendo Badge Arcade.
For users who already own 3DS and Wii U content, they will still be able to redownload content they own as well as download any existing software updates after late March 2023.
You can view the full announcement from Nintendo on their support page.