Nintendo Finally Acknowledges Wii And DSi Shop Outage

Nintendo's online storefronts for the Wii and DSi shops have been offline for over a week, sparking speculation that the company has shuttered them for good ahead of schedule. However, it appears that the shops haven't been closed permanently and that the gates are down temporarily for what looks like routine maintenance. "The Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop are currently undergoing maintenance," a Nintendo spokesperson said in a statement to Eurogamer. However, the company hasn't said when the Wii and DSi stores will be back online.

The offline status of its online (pun intended) shops worried a lot of fans who are still holding on to their legacy Nintendo consoles. Last month, Nintendo announced plans to shut down the online stores for its Wii U console and 3DS handheld, preventing users from buying games online from the two storefronts. Come March next year, Nintendo will put a lid on the availability of game demos and free content that are currently available for download. However, the stores' closure will be more like a slow death instead of bringing down the curtain on all activity at once.

A hiccup en route to the inevitable

As part of its phasing down strategy, Nintendo will stop users from adding funds to the Nintendo eShop account on the Wii U and 3DS consoles starting May 23, 2022. And starting August 29, the online storefronts will also block users from using their Nintendo eShop Cards to top up their accounts for the two aforementioned console families. The store shutdown will happen in March 2023. In contrast, Nintendo blocked direct online purchases on the DSi and Wii Shops in 2017 and 2019, respectively. However, it has allowed players to re-download games and items they had purchased before new transactions were frozen permanently.

At some point in the future, Nintendo will block players from retrieving their purchased items from the store, but hasn't laid out a date when that will happen. Nintendo is shutting down the storefronts as the user base for the two console families shrinks and the hardware itself runs out of its natural lifecycle, paving the way for a new generation of consoles in the Switch family to lead the charge. Of course, Nintendo's decision hasn't been received with open arms by players, especially folks who enjoy classic games. Nintendo, on the other hand, has hit a jackpot with its current generation of consoles in the Switch family