Nintendo will discontinue “online play and other functionality” for the 3DS and Wii U in “early April” 2024, a long-awaited announcement. Official confirmation:
Nintendo: “In early April 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software. This also includes online co-operative play, internet rankings, and data distribution.”
Remember, it’s “early April”—do (or play) whatever you need to before then. Nintendo will announce an end date and time “at a later date” but may end services “earlier than planned”:
“Please note that if an event occurs that would make it difficult to continue online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software, we may have to discontinue services earlier than planned.”
This Nintendo support website Q&A answers some basic questions. Pokémon Bank for the 3DS will remain available after the other online services end, but it may end “at some point in the future”. There will be “some exceptions” for “other” publisher software online services.
A separate support page states that Nintendo Badge Arcade will display a “error screen when launched” and that badges cannot be placed in the badge box after online services end.
In the “foreseeable future”, 3DS and Wii U users can download update data and redownload purchased software and DLC from the eShop after online play and other functionality end. SpotPass will end, but 3DS StreetPass will remain.
Nintendo closed the 3DS and Wii U eShops in March, making purchases “no longer possible”. However, you can redownload all purchased games and DLC.