Nintendo has officially announced that they will shut down online services for the Wii and DS handheld, which effectively nixes things like online play, matchmaking and leaderboards.
Starting May 20 of this year, Nintendo is pulling the plug for online support for their yesteryear superstar console and handheld combo, the Wii and DS.
This warning effectively gives gamers a few months to get those high leaderboard scores or burn some treads in Mario Kart before the service is kaput for good–which will be disappointing for many who have had many fond memories wreaking havoc in Super Smash Bros.
Discontinued online services include online matchmaking, online leaderboards, and general online play, as the official statement from Nintendo confirms:
“As of May 20th, 2014, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service will be discontinued and it will no longer be possible to use online features of Nintendo DS/DSi and Wii software such as online play, matchmaking and leaderboards.
“The Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop will not be affected however, and will continue to be accessible after May 20th.”
As Kotaku notes, the services are being cut off on a “software” level, which means that if you’re trying to play a DS game on a newer 3DS handheld–or even a Wii game on a Wii U–you’ll be stuck offline. Be sure to check the list of affected games here.
Some services will still be available after the May 20 cut off date, however, including the following:
The following services are not affected by the termination, and will continue to be available after May 20th:
- Internet Channel
- Nintendo DS Browser
- Nintendo DSi Browser
- Nintendo DSi Shop
- Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Pay & Play
- Wii Shop Channel
“Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games will not be affected but it will not be possible to use online features of Wii software played in Wii Mode on Wii U, and of Nintendo DS games played on Nintendo 3DS family systems.”
Nintendo also justifies the cause for discontinuing these services as a means to provide more bandwidth and focus for their flagship tablet/console the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS, the latter of which is keeping the Japanese gaming titan afloat amidst stormy seas.
Furthermore Nintendo cites the need for more online flexibility to prepare for high-profile games like Mario Kart 8 and the upcoming Super Smash Bros., both of which will assuredly stretch the servers to new heights.
While it is a bit daunting and disappointing to some, the switch pretty much falls in line with gaming trends: older games (and systems) get switched off in favor of the newer, hotter console, and the gaming world goes onward. For now, though, we’re free to jump into as many Super Smash Bros. rounds as we want, but after May 20 it’ll forever be a local-only brawler.