As of May 20th, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection is No More
It’s almost time to turn out the lights.
Remember the good times? Racing your friends online in Mario Kart DS, or visiting another person’s town in Animal Crossing: City Folk? Good times.
However, nothing lasts forever, and that includes the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The first foray into online gaming for Nintendo that western fans were familiar with, it debuted shortly into the lifespan of the hugely successful Nintendo DS platform and continued on to the Wii, allowing Nintendo fans across the world to play, compete, and more. But on May 20th, 2014, Nintendo is shutting the service down for good.
Before anyone panics, though, note that this does not affect the more recent Nintendo Network, which is what the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U platforms run on– those will be fine and continue on as we look forward to such titles as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros., among others. In addition, any non-internet related functionality such as single and local multiplayer modes in Nintendo DS and Wii titles should continue to work just fine. “The discontinued services include online play, matchmaking and leaderboards for many Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi games,” says Nintendo of America on their website’s announcement of the news.
“Online play for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games will be unaffected (aside from the Wii mode on Wii U and Nintendo DS games on Nintendo 3DS family systems). Other online functionality, such as access to the Wii Shop Channel, the Nintendo DSi Shop and video-on-demand services, are also not affected at this time.” So that means you should, in theory, be able to continue buying up games from those respective virtual storefronts. Hopefully, at some point, Wii Shop-exclusive WiiWare offerings such as Contra ReBirth and Mega Man 9 will somehow be moved to the Wii U’s eShop for safe keeping.
As for in-game purchases, such as downloadable content for such titles as the WiiWare Mega Man offerings, 100 Classic Books, and certain Professor Layton titles, Nintendo says that functionality will continue to work for the time being as well.
All told, it’s a sad day, especially for some titles which were more reliant on the service than others. Fortunately, there are still more great games to look forward to in the future, but for now, we should try to take a moment to give some old favorites one last spin online.
That is, unless Nintendo’s Virtual Console for the Nintendo DS includes the functionality through the Nintendo Network. If it does, then perhaps with any luck, they’ll have a way for us to transfer the data from our Nintendo DS cards to use there, too.