Nintendo Killing Online Services For Wii, DS

If you own either (or both!) of Nintendo's last-gen machines, and you use any kind of online service with them, now's the time to make the most of it. Because on May 20, Nintendo is pulling the plug.

While both console's online stores will remain, other stuff like online play, matchmaking and leaderboards will be shut down.

Here's the relevant part of the company's statement, as published on Nintendo's Australian site:

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.

Time to dust off that copy of Mario Kart DS for one last run...

Remember that the statement references software, not hardware, so even if you're running a DS game on a 3DS, or a Wii game on the Wii U, it still won't connect online.

You can read a list of the affected games here. It obviously impacts many of the biggest titles on both platforms, from Mario Kart to Smash Bros. to Pokemon.

The full list of stuff that will keep on working past May 20 follows.

  • Internet Channel
  • Nintendo DS Browser
  • Nintendo DSi Browser
  • Nintendo DSi Shop
  • Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Pay & Play
  • Wii Shop Channel
  • YouTube

Note: While this notice has yet to appear on the Nintendo of America site, it has turned up on both the Japanese and Australian portals, which strongly suggests the move is global. We've contacted Nintendo of America, and will update if we hear back.

Update: The notice is now up on the Nintendo of America site as well. The company sent the following statement to Kotaku, which has some interesting stuff about the company's "focus".

As of May 20, 2014, certain online functionality, including online play, matchmaking and leaderboards for many Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi games, will no longer be accessible. For a list of Nintendo games and services that are affected, please check http://www.nintendo.com. Users can still play these games in offline mode, which continues to offer a rich game-play experience. Other online functionality on Wii and Nintendo DS, such as access to the Wii Shop Channel, the Nintendo DSi Shop and video-on-demand services, are also not affected at this time.

Online play for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games will be unaffected (aside from the Wii mode on Wii U and Nintendo DS games played on Nintendo 3DS family systems).

Our focus now shifts to readying our Wii U and Nintendo 3DS matchmaking services for upcoming games such as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros.

We at Nintendo sincerely thank our fans for their continued support of our company's legacy systems. Your enthusiasm for games made for these systems speaks to their longevity, and the passion of Nintendo fans.