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Nintendo Online Services Broken Now, Continuing Christmas Malfunctions [UPDATE]

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Nintendo's online store isn't working for many gamers at the moment—not on Wii U or 3DS—making it essentially impossible to use many of the systems' core online services. So this is why I couldn't update the Netflix app on my parents' Wii yesterday! And it's why a lot of Nintendo gamers are pulling their hair out now.

As of 9:30am ET on Dec. 26, Nintendo's online services were all having problems. See the image above or simply see what my Wii U and 3DS looked like when I tried to access the eShop, Nintendo's online store, on either unit:


Nintendo's online stores have been having problems like this since yesterday, which was, of course, a day when a lot of people were getting new Nintendo machines and probably eagerly hoping to hook them up to the Internet.

Nintendo was in apology mode yesterday:


You can check the status of Nintendo's online services here.

The inability to create Nintendo Network IDs blocks any new Nintendo Wii U or 3DS owner from being able to make purchases on the Nintendo eShop or even begin using a profile that is intended to serve as a unified identity—similar to an Apple iTunes ID or a PlayStation or Xbox account—that tethers all of a Nintendo gamer's online transactions and money balance to themselves. Until just a few weeks ago, Nintendo didn't use the NNIDs for this and did not use an account-based system to preserve its customers' purchases. The company instead tethered purchases only to a specific piece of hardware and only allowing a transfer of purchases from one piece of hardware to another.

To apparently lighten server load, Nintendo of Japan, is removing the newly-released Pokémon Bank application from its 3DS eShop, according to a post on the company's official site (and spotted on the NeoGAF message board).

Nintendo isn't the only major gaming company to have online problems this Christmas. The PlayStation Network was malfunctioning on Christmas Eve:


It's up at the time of this writing.

Valve's Steam store went down yesterday but has since been brought back up.


Thursday is usually the day Nintendo releases new content on their eShop. No sign of that still happening today. UPDATE: Nintendo has put out their weekly Nintendo Download press release, though it hadn't been e-mailed to Kotaku staffers, which it normally is. The release lists several games and the Pokémon Bank app, all supposedly coming out today or in the coming week on the various Nintendo machines' eShops.

I've reached out to Nintendo for an explanation for what went wrong and for an update about when things will be working. I'll update this story should they supply any insight.


UPDATE, 6:50pm: The eShop still appears to be down. Nintendo says they're still working on it.


To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @stephentotilo.