Nintendo is facing a backlash from fans over its plan to end purchases on older generation Wii U and 3DS systems in March 2023.
It means that consumers will no longer be able to buy hundreds of Nintendo’s games from the past.
Instead, gamers will have access to a smaller selection of titles through Nintendo Switch Online.
And as this is a subscription service, players will lose access to their favourite games if they do not renew.
The Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console in the UK in 2021, and has sold more than 100 million units worldwide, outselling even the Wii.
As of late March 2023, it will no longer be possible to make purchases in #eShop for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS family systems.
Please visit our Support section for more information: https://t.co/IDGi8pM3hs
— Nintendo UK (@NintendoUK) February 16, 2022
Nintendo said it is only sales that are ending – so players can still redownload games and downloadable content that they already own, play online, and receive software updates on their Wii U and 3DS consoles after March 2023.
It also said that Wii U and 3DS accounts will stop accepting Nintendo eShop gift cards from 29 August 2022. These funds can instead be added to Nintendo Switch accounts, so they will not lose their value.
But the main criticism aimed at Nintendo is that many games will now be unavailable to purchase at all, as the Nintendo Switch library is much smaller than that on the Wii U and 3DS.
There are 300 games from classic systems such as the Game Boy and SNES available on the Wii U eShop in the UK, and 187 classic games on the 3DS.
In addition to these older games, there are hundreds of digital 3DS and Wii U games.
The games were designed for these consoles which will become unavailable to purchase – in total accounting for more than 1,000 games.
Some of the classic games will still be available for Nintendo Switch Online, and some Wii U titles.
Example is Pikmin 3. Nintendo has ported this game to the newer console.
However, the ending of eShop sales still leaves a vast library of games without attention.
unaccounted for, such as Fire Emblem: Awakening and Xenoblade Chronicles X.
Although gamers can still buy physical copies of old video games.
However, the limited supply means that these can cost a lot when purchased through secondary markets.
For example, one of the games that is disappearing from sale – Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones – currently costs just £6.29 on the Wii U eShop.
However, a physical copy of the game is a lot more, with one selling for £93 on eBay in January.
Like the 70 other GBA games available on the platform, it is not available on Nintendo Switch Online.
So, after March 2023, would-be players can only legally play the game if they are willing to pay in the second-hand market.
This has led some players to draw contrasts with Nintendo’s tough stance on video game piracy.
While other players are lamenting the games that will no longer be available to buy when the stores close.
With this development, especially for 3DS, prices will increase significantly for physical games.
Also, a bunch of great games won’t be available for sale in the West anymore on 3DS.
Example of such games are Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies or Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice.