News - Updated on March 30, 2022

The Video Game History Foundation is an organization dedicated to preserving game history. She is unhappy with how Nintendo holds the closure of the digital store on the 3DS and Wii U – according to archivists, the company interferes with the protection of video games as a cultural heritage.

VGHF staff posted the following message:

It’s sad that people will no longer be able to purchase digital games for the 3DS or Wii U, but we understand the business realities behind this decision. What we don’t understand is how Nintendofans should get these games if they want to play them in the future.

Nintendo is a paid member of the ESA and thus actively finances lobbying for actions that prevent legal access to these games, even in libraries. We understand why commercial access is not provided, but preventing institutional work to preserve these products is destroying gaming history.

We encourage ESA members like Nintendo reconsider its position on this issue and start looking for solutions in cooperation with relevant organizations.

VGHF chief Frank Cifaldi was more blunt on his personal page:

The commercial industry will never fully support older games, and our own government makes it impossible to even enlist the help of libraries. No one will save gaming history but all of us. This will never change.

Apparently, Sifaldi encouraged 3DS and Wii U owners to hack their consoles so that they would definitely have access to game backups. Something like him said and about the PlayStation 3 when Sony announced its intention to disable the PlayStation Store there. It seems that after a short time, Sifaldi removed the call to hack the 3DS and Wii U – only quotes in the press remained.

Nintendo Life publishes anonymous comments from a former employee Nintendo of America. According to him, Nintendo determines when to end support for a console in its first two years on the market. Therefore, the company decided to turn off the Wii U at the first opportunity – already in 2014. Nintendo felt that the concept did not take off.

When the digital store on the 3DS and Wii U goes offline, people will still be able to download purchased games and play online. However, according to an anonymous source, this will only last a couple of years: they say, during 2023 Nintendo will announce that he is going to disable Internet services completely. Accordingly, digital purchases will be completely unavailable.

Eyewitnesses have already analyzed the losses from disabling eShop catalogs on the 3DS and Wii U.

  • Outside of Japan, there are approximately 2,000 games sold digitally for two consoles.

  • About 600 games are available on the 3DS digitally alone. About 300 more were also released on physical media.

  • About 450 games are available on Wii U digitally alone. About 100 more were also released on physical media.

  • Both the 3DS and the Wii U have digital-only exclusives.

  • Approximately 530 games are in the Virtual Console program – a kind of official emulator of the classics. Approximately 350 of them have not yet made it to Nintendo Switch Online, which has its own analogue of the Virtual Console.

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