Wii U and 3DS games may be on their last legs as their Japanese Nintendo eShops are slowly closing.
According to a tweet from Japan’s Nintendo account (translated by @OatmealDome and reported by Nintendo Life), Nintendo will no longer accept credit cards and prepaid IC cards on Japan’s Wii U and 3DS eShops starting January 18th, 2022 at 9am Japan time. Other regions, like Europe and Australia/New Zealand, have already had their credit card privileges revoked.
However, Japanese gamers will still be able to use those eShops if they have prepaid eShop cards or if they add credit to their linked Nintendo Accounts.
Although it is good that the eShop itself is not fully closed down, this move does not bode well for legacy video games and video game preservation. While Nintendo has ported a lot of Wii U games to the Switch, the full catalogue of 3DS and Wii U games are still largely console locked. If the eShops close down completely, there may not be a way to play those games unless Nintendo chooses to remake them.