In the wake of Nintendo confirming they’re shutting down the Wii U and 3DS eShop stores, we’ve learned Nintendo has no plans for classic games outside Nintendo Switch Online.
In the FAQ for the new eShop closures a now-deleted section addressed how, if ever, Nintendo will be offering classic games like seen on the Wii U and 3DS, or older.
The company said they have “no plans to offer classic content in other ways,” while also noting they’ve added over 130 classic games to the Nintendo Switch Online subscription.
At first, Nintendo Switch Online was only adding Nintendo Entertainment System games, a bit later it began adding Super NES games, and even later with the Expansion Pack tier it added both Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games.
While Nintendo Switch Online launched in September 2018, to date the service has been adding various classic games that active subscribers can download and play. A new tier for the service, the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, was released in October 2021.
Here’s the word from Nintendo:
Once it is no longer possible to purchase software in Nintendo eShop on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, many classic games for past platforms will cease to be available for purchase anywhere. Will you make classic games available to own some other way? If not, then why? Doesn’t Nintendo have an obligation to preserve its classic games by continually making them available for purchase?
- Across our Nintendo Switch Online membership plans, over 130 classic games are currently available in growing libraries for various legacy systems. The games are often enhanced with new features such as online play.
- We think this is an effective way to mall classic content easily available. a broad range of players. Within these libraries, new and longtime players can not only find games they remember or have heard about, but other fun games they might not have thought. seek out otherwise.
- We currently have no plans to offer classic content in other ways.
The news that Nintendo has no plans for classic games outside Nintendo Switch Online will certainly get both owners of the Wii U / 3DS generation upset but also the countless users that have been begging Nintendo to revive their Virtual Console-like approach to game preservation and re-releases.
Nintendo released a number of classic titles through Virtual Console on the Wii and the Wii U, until they pulled the plug on the entire thing in 2019. Around the launch of their latest console, the Switch, Nintendo even confirmed back then they had no plans to bring the Virtual Console to the platform.