The Nintendo Wii and DS will join the original Xbox in ending all Online Multiplayer support. Announced by Nintendo, the service will close down on May 20, 2014 after launching in November of 2005. The last console to fully end all online multiplayer service was the original Xbox which closed its Xbox Live service on April 15, 2010.
Nintendo announced the shuttering of the service will bring an end to the following services:
- Online play and matchmaking
- Leaderboards and tournament data
- Sharing of user generated content (ghost data, user created levels)
- User exchange of in-game items or characters (Global Trade Station)
- Free add-on content or downloads (new levels, in-game items, Mystery Gifts)
While the Nintendo Wii and DS was not known for its multiplayer due to a confusing and frustrating “friend code” system, games such as Monster Hunter Tri, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl continue to be popular games on the service. These games, along with other Nintendo and 3rd party published games for the Wii and DS such as Animal Crossing: Let’s Go to the City, Mario Kart Wii and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass will be affected. The complete list of Nintendo published games and services can be found at the Nintendo of America site.
Nintendo is not turning off all the online functionality of the last generation. Wii and DSi owners will still be able to access the Wii Shop and DSi Shop respectfully. Video on demand services such as Netflix, hulu and YouTube also will remain unaffected on the Wii. The Wii Internet Channel and Nintendo DS and DSi Browser will also remain functional after the service is closed on May 20.
Owners of the new Wii U or 3DS will be unaffected, however the online functionality will not work in the Wii Mode nor will original DS games with online play work in the 3DS or 2DS models.
With the Wii and DS Online Multiplayer shutting down on May 20, 2014 it marks the first of the 7th generation of consoles ending their online multiplayer services. The Wii itself discontinued production in October of 2013 after debuting to the world in 2006 and selling over 100 million units as of December 2013.