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3DS and Wii U

3DS and Wii U
Wii U and 3DS eShop titles will be much harder to purchase as credit and debit card compatibility is being removed from Nintendo’s digital storefront.

3DS and Wii U

Sadly, this is par-for-the-course for Nintendo,

as it took similar measures to disable the Wii Shop Channel and the DSi Shop

in 2019 before seemingly shuttering the servers altogether a few months ago. It’s worth noting that this change was already implemented in Japan in January of this year, and, while North American

gamers will still be able to make purchases via credits transferred from Nintendo eShop cards,

this will be phased out in late August.

At a glance, Nintendo has had an excellent track record of late, publishing major hits

such as Pokemon Legends: Arceus and Kirby and the Forgotten Land,

greatly expanding the Nintendo Switch Online service, and helping the Nintendo Switch to crack the one-hundred million global sales mark. That said, decisions such as these tend to leave sour tastes in the mouths of dedicated fans, and, should this trend continue in an all-digital future,

it seems as if many games published on Nintendo-owned

platforms will be doomed to obsolescence.

Video game preservation has become a major topic of discussion in recent years. As older hardware becomes tougher to maintain and newer

digital services go defunct, hundreds upon hundreds of quality titles run the risk of being

permanently lost. It’s hard to know exactly how many worthwhile

games were made inaccessible to the public when the Wii Shop Channel

closed, but Nintendo’s blase attitude toward archiving, combined

with its quirky proprietary tech that isn’t easily emulated,

makes for a looming preservation nightmare.

SUMMARY

It’s no secret that Nintendo absolutely detests unregulated emulation. Constantly at war with sites that host ROMs of old NES, SNES, and N64 titles and going so far as to take down YouTube videos that

show Steam Deck owners how to emulate retro Nintendo hardware on Valve’s

new device, the publisher’s hardline stance against this practice adds another wrinkle to preservation efforts. While emulation has existed in a legal gray area for quite some time, with more

digital games on Nintendo platforms going up in smoke, it may soon be the only alternative.

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