Nintendo shutting down 3DS and Wii U eShops in 42 countries

The Switch has been Nintendo's star platform for more than three years at this point, which means that other machines like the 3DS and the Wii U have been largely put to the side. In the case of the Wii U, that comes as little shock – under-performing in every sense of the phrase, Nintendo discontinued the Wii U at more or less the same time it launched the Switch.

The 3DS lives on, though it has certainly been put on the backburner while the Switch soaks up the limelight. We haven't seen any first party games for the handheld in quite some time, and sales have been dropping with each of Nintendo's financial reports. Still, Nintendo hasn't formally declared the 3DS discontinued, choosing to position it as a low-cost alternative to the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo has revealed that it's shutting down both the 3DS and Wii U eShops in a number of Latin American and Caribbean countries. At first blush, this might seem like a rushed decision considering that the 3DS hasn't even been discontinued yet, but these countries all have limited versions of the eShop that only allow a "few basic functions," such as code redemption. They aren't like the full eShops we see in other regions, which allow users to buy games digitally.

In any case, these limited eShops are going dark on July 31, 2020. In all, 42 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean region will be losing access to their eShops, and you can check out a list of them below:

Anguilla, Antigua/Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Cost Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent/Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Nintendo notes that neither Mexico nor Brazil are included in this shut down because Mexico has a full eShop for both platforms, while Brazil has a full eShop for the 3DS and doesn't have any eShop for the Wii U. The company also points out that no limited or full eShops for the Nintendo Switch will be affected by this shut down.

So, what should you do if you live in one of those countries? If you have any game codes you haven't redeemed, you'll want to do that before July 31st. You'll also want to download any updates for games you own before that date. Perhaps most importantly, though, you want to re-download any previously-purchased software that's not currently on your system, because once these limited eShops shut down on July 31st, you won't have that option anymore.

Nintendo didn't give a reason for this rather sweeping shut down aside from saying, "we constantly re-evaluate our business and make decisions based on a variety of factors." You can read more about this shut down over on Nintendo's support site, but if you live in one of the countries listed above, make sure you've got everything concerning the 3DS and Wii U eShops in order before July 31st rolls around.