We’ve known about this day for more than a year. When I’m writing this, it’s March 27, 2023, and Nintendo has officially shut its eShop for the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U. For the last few days, I’ve been downloading demos, buying digital games, and playing as much of my 3DS as possible. I have a game I should be playing for an upcoming review, but I put it aside this weekend for my 3DS. This was also the open-beta weekend for Diablo IV, and I only managed to play it for about an hour. It’s a bittersweet farewell that I wish didn’t have such a dull conclusion.

The Super Mario 3D Land page in the eShop 3DS Shop

Where was the love?

Leading to the shutdown of the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS eShops, I was hoping that there would be more “love” from Nintendo and other publishers. Of the major 3rd-party publishers, only Capcom heavily discounted just about every one of their 3DS games (with the surprising exception of Monster Hunters Stories). I honestly thought companies like Sega/Atlus and SquareEnix would offer last-minute sales.

Sure, both publishers did run sales on some of their games over the last year but nothing recently. Unfortunately, in the case of SquareEnix, they never bothered to reduce the prices of some of their higher-profile games, such as either of the Dragon Quest remakes. Heck, even Nintendo never bothered to pull the trigger on any sort of deal. They were offering 30-33% discounts on select Nintendo Switch games, especially around their MAR10 promo. How hard would have been to discount a few of the first-party games for a discount?

Over the last few days, I’ve seen plenty of retrospectives through YouTube and other gaming sites, all sharing their recommendations before the eShop closed on both platforms. But all this time, Nintendo stayed silent over the last few days. Looking back at the last month of tweets from @NintendoAmerica, there was zero mention of the eShop’s closure. Not even a reminder post on the day of. Very disappointing.

The Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright start-up from the 3DS Menu

Not sure what happens next

Nintendo loves to move forward and leave its past behind, that is until they see a financial benefit to re-release a classic game on a new console. Pretty much every notable Nintendo Wii U game has made its way onto the Switch in one form or another. We’re just weeks away from the Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp launch, so they’re willing to bring classic Game Boy Advance games if it makes sense.

It’s hard to tell if there are enough 3DS games that can make their way onto other platforms. Stuff like Bravely Default, Shin Megami Tensei, and Fire Emblem all had recent sequels on the Switch. However, I just don’t see classic 3DS games getting re-released. I seriously doubt Nintendo would re-make Mario & Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story for a third console. It’s highly unlikely we’ll see Kid Icarus: Uprising on the Switch (however, it would be nice if that game got a sequel).

Over the weekend, I spent nearly $250 CDN on 3DS games through the eShop. I ended up getting nine games, all at full price. Because physical versions of games like Dragon Quest VIII, Pokémon X, and Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney are so damn expensive, it just made sense to buy them digitally. Then I also bought a few digital exclusives like Crimson Shroud and Rhythm Heaven Megamix because I’m pretty certain they’ll never get ported anywhere else.

The start-up screen for Pocket Card Jockey on a Nintendo 3DS

Enjoying it while I can

For the next few days, at least, I’m going to try to play as much of my 3DS as I can. As I just downloaded a handful of games, it would suck not to play them. Yes, I probably should have bought most of these a long time ago, but that’s why I love video games. There is nothing stopping you from playing them whenever you really want. As I did with my most recent Looking Back, if I can find the time, I’d like to share some of my thoughts on other games. In the meantime, I’m hoping Nintendo has something planned to honor the legacy of the 3DS (and yes, even the Wii U).