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This Weekend Is Your Last Chance To Play 3DS And Wii U Games Online

We are gathered here today to bid one final farewell to the 3DS and Wii U’s online services, which will get laid to rest on April 8. 13 years of life isn’t long, but in those years, the multiplayer functionality for these two Nintendo devices has served us well, connecting players the world over in games like Splatoon, Mario Kart 8, and Super Smash Bros. 4. Let us take a moment of silence to remember their contributions, which were vast and varied. And if, for old time’s sake, you want to give any of them one last online spin, this weekend is your last chance to do so.

Thank You, PS Plus, For Making My Backlog Even Bigger

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Funeral procession aside, Nintendo announced plans to shutter the online functionality for both the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U just this past January. The company didn’t give an explicit reason for shutting the services down, though I imagine it’s just decided that the costs outweigh the benefits at this point as fewer and fewer people make use of those 13-year-old services, and the company shifts its focus to the future as it wrangles a successor to the Switch. Regardless of the reason, the company did thank everyone for “using the online services of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software over a long period of time” in the announcement post while clarifying in the accompanying Q&A that folks will “still be able to use features and game modes” that don’t need online functionality.

This does mean, though, that SpotPass, a 3DS feature that detects wireless hotspots to obtain information from the internet, will no longer work come April 8. Its sister feature, StreetPass, which uses local WiFi to pass information between 3D systems, will still be available even when online services cease operations.

The 3DS originally launched in 2011, with the Wii U following just a year later. Both systems—the former a handheld, the latter a kind of proto-Switch—shipped with a bevy of online features. From the expected multiplayer lobbies to hangout rooms based around Mii avatars, these systems gave personality to Nintendo’s online services. I especially loved kiki-ing with my family and friends’ Miis, so I’m pretty bummed to see the online functionality for the 3DS and the Wii U go down.

So, yeah, you’ve got one last weekend to enjoy online gaming on these systems. Come April 8 at 7 P.M. ET, their online functionality will get carried home.

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