So the 3DS and Wii U Nintendo eShops are shutting down and of course I’m mad about it, and not just because I only bought a Wii U last year.
I was sort-of ok with the Wii Shop Channel shutting down in 2019 because most of the big titles of interest were available on other platforms, especially the Wii U Nintendo eShop. A lot of WiiWare titles are pretty much lost now which really stinks, though.
The Wii U and 3DS are pretty much the prime method for playing classic Nintendo games. I have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription but only because I want to play games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online, not because of the NES games on the service. Plus, I will never cave and buy the Expansion Pack for N64 games, but that’s a different story. I prefer buying the game I want and just having it over the monthly or annual subscription. On top of that, NSO is missing a huge number of games which are more accessible on Wii U and 3DS so they really are the platform you want to go with for older titles.
There’s also digital-only content which will soon be lost. Just today I remembered Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation which was the digital-only DLC/third route for Fire Emblem Fates on Nintendo 3DS. That’s something else that will soon be gone. In 2020 I was considering picking up the Fire Emblem Fates Special Edition on eBay for around 150 euros and I kind of regret not doing it now. (If you don’t know: There was a Special Edition released for Fire Emblem Fates which had all the routes on one cartridge and I assume it is going to absolutely explode in price very soon.)
It seems like every time Nintendo does something right they have to ruin it for me. We got an absolute amazing Nintendo Direct earlier this month with a ton of big JRPG announcements and now they’re killing the 3DS and Wii U eShops way too early. Is it because maintenance cost is not profitable or is it because they’re trying to push NSO? I don’t know. What I do know is that the number of hacked 3DS and Wii U units out there is probably rising right now.
I hope Nintendo ports Xenoblade Chronicles X, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD to Nintendo Switch this year since these are the only major titles not on Nintendo Switch. Either way this situation is kind of forcing me to go through the eShop and pick up anything I might want before I can never get it again. Maybe this was also part of the reason Nintendo did it? Scaring people into buying your products might not be the best business practice …
This entire situation once again confirms to me that digital-only games are not a replacement to physical games and, at least to me, they never will be. I am ok with having a few games digitally but around 90% of my collection will always be physical.