After the closure of the 3DS eShop earlier this year, Nintendo announced that it would soon end its online services for the Wii U and 3DS (as well as 2DS) in April next year, essentially ending official online support with a few exceptions. According to an official statement from Nintendo:
Thank you very much for your continued support of our products. In early April 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end for Nintendo 3DS* and Wii U software. This also includes online co-operative play, internet rankings, and data distribution.
You can find more information about badges for decorating the Nintendo 3DS HOME Menu using Nintendo Badge Arcade here. We will announce a specific end date and timing at a later date.
Please note that if an event occurs that would make it difficult to continue online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software, we may have to discontinue services earlier than planned.
We sincerely thank players for using the online services of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software over a long period of time and apologise for any inconvenience.
With that being said, it looks like players will still be able to download update data for their games, and re-download their purchased titles. However, the eShop will remain inaccessible for new purchases, and SpotPass will be discontinued as well.
On the other hand, offline solo play will of course still be available for players, as well as StreetPass features. Nintendo adds that the “Pokemon Bank” will still be available for the time being, given that it’s used to migrate specific player data from Pokemon games on 3DS to the Nintendo Switch.
The Nintendo 3DS and Wii U were launched in 2011 and 2012 respectively, with the latter being somewhat of a financial loss for Nintendo. By contrast, the 3DS proved to be one of Nintendo’s more popular gaming systems, even out-performing the Sony PS Vita in terms of sales and popularity.