Nintendo Shutting Down Online Services Worldwide for Wii and DS/DSi on May 20
The Wii U has only been out for a little over a year, yet Nintendo is pulling the plug on online play for its older sibling, the Wii, in addition to the DS and DSi. While originally reported by Nintendo of Australia, a Nintendo spokesperson confirmed to Polygon that "this is a global termination which will take place on 20th May 2014 Worldwide."
Nintendo then issued a statement that said, "As of May 20, 2014, certain online functionality, including online play, matchmaking and leaderboards for many Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi games, will no longer be accessible." More than 20 Wii titles and more than 40 DS/DSi titles will be affected, including popular titles like Mario Kart, Pokémon, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The full list of titles can be seen at the Nintendo site listed below. Of course, unsurprisingly, the Wii Shop and DSi Shop will continue to function because...money. Video-on-demand services such as "Wii's Delivery Channel, Hulu, Internet Channel and YouTube" will continue to function as well.
This news is yet another black mark against Nintendo, who has seemed out of touch with reality over the past year. While local co-op has always been a key aspect of Nintendo games, the company needs to realize that online play has become an essential part of any multiplayer game and start to embrace it – how Pikmin 3 does not have online play is beyond me. While its still early in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One life cycles, most people see Sony and Microsoft supporting the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, respectively, for many years to come, including keeping its online services running. In fact, Sony has a reputation for supporting its prior platforms several years into the life of new ones (PlayStation 2 games were still being released last year). This move by Nintendo just seems like a bit of a sleazy ploy to try to push Wii U sales.
What are your thoughts on this upcoming shutdown? Understandable or too soon?