Nintendo Shutting Down Wii and DS Online Multiplayer on May 20
By way of The Verge, we are today learning that Nintendo will be shutting down Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Online multiplayer games on the Wii and the DS will no longer be able to be used online, as the service will be closed on May 20. Games like Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Animal Crossing: City Folk, and online enabled DS games will be closed off from the rest of the world.
My Animal Crossing town will never see new visitors again. What am I going to do?!
While Wii and DS games will no longer functional online, Nintendo has confirmed that various online Wii apps like Netflix, the Wii store, and the web browser will still be functional. Online play of Wii or DS games on their successor consoles through backwards compatibility will not work.
Nintendo has not given an exact reason why Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection will be closing down for those consoles, but then again, their online structure is a tad weird. Two years ago, Nintendo Network became the new moniker for Nintendo's online system, replacing Wi-Fi Connection as the service for the current Nintendo console generation (Wii U and 3DS).
Nintendo has never really been known for their focus on online gaming. With the arrival of the Wii, gamers were given the option to take their console games online, but Nintendo's odd implementation of Friend Codes hampered the experience when compared to rival online systems created by Sony and Microsoft.
Comparatively, Nintendo has lagged behind with its adoption of standard online service functions; one such issue that I've always been bothered about was the lack of a persistent account across multiple devices with access to past purchases. Nintendo Network is supposedly going to unify accounts on the 3DS and Wii U in a similar way to PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, but it's not quite there yet.