It’s the end of an era, that era in particular being the online multiplayer component for the original Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS. The company has announced plans to deactivate the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service, that allows for wireless online play on both last-gen consoles, on May 20. The shutdown has been confirmed so far for Japan, North America, and Australia. The rest of the world following suit at some point, if not the same day, seems likely.
It should be noted that while online play for such titles as the DS Pokemon games, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii will indeed be turned off, services such as the Wii Shop Channel, the DSi game shop and video apps like Hulu, YouTube and Netflix will still function. In other words, don’t worry about losing access to Virtual Console, WiiWare or DSiWare titles just yet.
The eventual loss of online play for older consoles seems to be a sad but inevitable event in the world of non-PC gaming. While Nintendo still remains a company cautious to fully immerse the majority of their titles in traditional online gaming (seriously, how cool would online Super Mario 3D World have been?), the Wii and DS represented their first full-fledged venture into the area, after a few experiments back on the Gamecube.
While this is definitely upsetting news, it’s nice that we got an early heads-up, so if you still have any desire to play some online Mario Kart on either system, at least you have until May 20th to do so.
We will keep you updated on more news regarding Nintendo consoles new and old as it drops. In the meantime, how do you feel about the loss of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section below.