News Article

Reminder: Nintendo's Wi-Fi Service on Wii and DS Closes on 20th May

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Get in those last online rounds

An era ends on 20th May. Not a glittering golden era that will live on through the ages, but nevertheless a period of time that brought plenty of good times for Nintendo gamers. Nintendo is shutting down its Wi-Fi connection service on Wii and DS, primarily as a result of the closure of the GameSpy infrastructure that it used. The decision to not migrate some games to new servers will undoubtedly disappoint some, but Nintendo has likely looked at the online activity and decided that, ultimately, the services should simply end.

Whether a calculated move to prompt more gamers to switch up to 3DS and Wii U or simply a matter of logistics, it does mean that we have just one more day to enjoy the online features of a host of games on the last-gen systems. Both Mario Kart entries spring to mind right away, along with other Wii games such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Strikers Charged; DS fans may lament the loss of Pokémon Services, among others.

So here's your reminder, this is that last chance for a few online races in Mario Kart Wii or a potentially laggy fight in Brawl. After today, it's game over.

From the web

User Comments (119)



XyVoX said:

Thats shocking as i know of several people who still play Mario Kart online and Love it.



Giygas_95 said:

I haven't even tried Advance Wars: Days of Ruin's online yet...Guess I'd better do that today.



DreamyViridi said:

I had my last few rounds of Mario Kart Wii and Smash Bros. Brawl today and had a great time, about 5 or 6 hours worth. Surprisingly, Brawl went pretty smoothly, no lag and after a couple of trolls and taunt rooms, I had some awesome hardcore Brawls! I intend to make of most of the Pokémon services later.
Farewell, Nintendo Wi-Fi. We had a good run...



rjejr said:

Gotta be honest, had no idea Strikers Charged had online despite my kids playing it for hours. Wii U needs a new version of that and Super Sluggers and a Paper Mario or Mario RPG. It really does feel like Wii had more games it's first 18 months than Wii U. Maybe not big huge blockbusters but games my kids and I played together - Godzilla Unleashed! - that first year. I'ld bet Twilight Princess sold more it's first month on Wii than WW HD on Wii U despite it also being out of Gamecube, same as WW.

Oh well, MK8 next Friday so that feeling should go away



Jazzer94 said:

Time to play either some Strikers, Brawl or MKWii maybe Fortune Street.



ChessboardMan said:

This doesn't include the Wii's eShop itself, does it? There's one or two games I still fancy picking up…



Yiffy said:

Heard some people are setting up ghetto servers for Pokémon/Brawl, hope they'll actually work. (but doubt they'd be any smooth)



PJR0cks said:

they should have at least moved games that don't have newer versions available, to new servers, for the time being.



Yosher said:

The end of an era indeed... I kinda wish they'd wait until Mario Kart 8 was released at the very least. But oh well, that's only 10 days after the service ends, so it's not THAT big a deal~



AyeHaley said:

handling last GTS stuff today...Now I really have to resort to X and Y to complete my national dex. Lets hope more people migrate, GTS could use a boost. (There are many who still play the DS pokemon games and haven't bought XY yet)

One positive! No more newly hacked pokeymans. Unless someone decides to crack XY. Which I hope they won't but I guess its inevitable.



Luna-Harmony said:

Does that mean the wii online shop will close too even though it works on wii u in wii mode ?



Bulbousaur said:

Just for clarification, does the shutdown start at 23:59 tonight, or tomorrow at 23:59?



Megumi said:

@ChessboardMan This is mainly for the games themselves, like others have said, the Shop channels will stay up. Same goes for things such as Netflix and all that.



LtAldoRaine said:

Even though Brawl's online was laggy, I have a ton of good memories with it. Definitely going to miss it. Maybe I'll play a bit with some friends today.



Takerkaneanite6 said:

R.I.P Wi-Fi on Wii and DS, I loved the online on Mario Kart Wii, didn't lag a lot, but I'm Wondering, can anybody answer this, will local multiplayer on DS still work, or is that going as well???



Edgarska said:

The name of the service was GameSpy, not Digital Spy. That's another thing entirely.



TrueWiiMaster said:

It's sad to see the games cut off (especially the ones I haven't even gotten yet), but I have to admit that I haven't played online on the Wii or DS in a long time, possibly not since Pokemon Black 2 came out. I'd imagine there aren't very many players on most of the games anymore, which is why Nintendo isn't migrating the games to new servers.

That said, I'll try to play some games online tonight, probably Excitebots, Mario Kart, Brawl, and/or Pokemon. As the article said, it's the end of an era. It may not be a glowing era for everyone, but it was a lot of fun while it lasted.



LittleIrves said:

I need any last amazing Wii Music videos anybody wants to share! Tried to play an online match in Mario Kart DS but couldn't get the connection to work. Goodbye, sweet blue circle in the corner of packaging...



Troggy said:

Bye bye, Brawl. I had fun activating Snake's Codec taunts online. Especially since people would keep me alive to hear them to the end!



absuplendous said:

I spent a good portion of yesterday putting together a quick-and-dirty WEP hotspot and getting all DLC that I could. I was surprised by how much content I missed in the Picross games, and the sheer abundance of it! It would take two game cards to get all of 3D Picross' content, and /ten/ game cards to get all of Picross DS'. I just might pick up a second copy of 3D Picross tonight and get the rest.

It may be the end of an era, but it's also indicative of a new one. Long gone are the days where purchasing a game nets you a complete game experience for life. From now on, certain game features--be it game play modes or extra content--have a finite life span. This is understandable, and I'm not resentful of the plug being pulled, but it only intensifies my regret that DLC became so ubiquitous. Starting tomorrow, anyone who buys, say, Picross DS or a Professor Layton game is going to be missing out. Someone who buys A Link the the Past today gets the exact same experience we had in 1992.

That all said, never discount the fan community. I have no doubt that eventually, some group of intrepid gamers will devise some workaround to grant gamers that extra content--maybe even online play. I sure hope so, because I picked up Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs well after 2011!



F4LLEND4RK said:

Does know what time it closes? I'm guessing it's going to be at 23:59 on Tuesday right?



DerpSandwich said:

Poop. I've been meaning to get some extra puzzles on Picross 3D, but it looks like I'm going to miss the boat. Sure wish I could connect to my wifi without changing a ton of settings.



Technosphile said:

Anyone playing Goldeneye today? I was disappointed last night to see the servers almost abandoned, but we still managed some Team Conflict.



sketchturner said:

Last Thursday night the last few die-hards played our last round of online Trackmania on Wii. One of my top 5 games of all time and easily one of the most under-appreciated games on the Wii.



NiBar said:

@XyVoX It's pure business. Nintendo need to sell more Wiiu's. So now it's time for your friends and the millions of ofter people playing Mario Kart online for free in several years, to show their love for Nintendo and their great games. So tell them to buy the Wiiu and Mario kart 8. Spread the word.



Porky said:

Will WiiUs and 3DS online shut down like this in the future? Because of some license expiring to run it?



Nik-Davies said:

Thanks for the reminder.
Me and my friend are just booting up our Wii Us to play Mario Kart Wii now



Nik-Davies said:

Anyone want to join me and my friend?
My code is 4170-8925-2046
We'll be starting in about 10 minutes.
Reply to me with your code. Anyone welcome.



bezerker99 said:

I'll miss the Excitebike World Rally servers the most.

Time to park the bike....was a wild ride, for sure.....



Xjarnold said:

To be honest I never bought a Wii, my GameCube was sufficient enough (even though I almost bought a Wii just for brawl).
However I will definitely miss the online modes in Pokemon.



3DSfan134 said:

Goodbye, I hope you will be missed! So anyone will have a battle in Pokemon Black/White 2? Just for the last day of the servers shutting down.



Nintendo_Ninja said:

This really is the end of an era. Good memories of Brawl and Mariokart with friends. And some great pokemon memories as well.



dumedum said:

@NiBar Amen, spoken true words. Wish these 30 million people would go and buy Wii U/Kart 8.

Does anyone know if there are any Wii games that will still have online?



SakuraHaruka said:

Oh well, "all per serving will end sooner or later"; but I didn't expect so early. oh well, Thanks, Thank you very much Nintendo Wi-Fi connection, until next time.



LoBo said:

To many hackers playing mkwii ,,it ruined the game for so many legit players , Nintendo's Hand has been forced is some respects where mario kart wii is concerned .



tripunktoj said:

Would anyone here with the first Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing for DS help me unlock the Online challenges (achievements) please?



MussakkuLaden said:

Damn, I wonder when EXACTLY it'll shutdown? I wished it would still run tomorrow, then I had much more time!
I want to play some Goldeneye tonight until the EUR servers shut down!!



ToxieDogg said:

Shame the free DLC for games like the DS Professor Layton series and Inazuma Eleven 1 & 2 is going to disappear, and I've still got fond memories of playing Mario Kart Wii and Goldeneye online, but in all honesty I've not used the Nintendo Wi Fi Connection for months now, mostly due to DS games only supporting the old WEP system.



Minotaurgamer said:

I'm going to miss my Mario kart wii online matches. They really bring me a lot of fun and good memories. Too bad than in its last years it was plagued with hackers and the like. But it was great nonetheless. I wish I could say the same about SSBB but well that was a pain in the neck to play. Besides MKWii and SSBB I also played GH3 and CODMW online for a long time but I don't have those games anymore. Anyway, thanks for the good times NWFC and godspeed.

@NiBar This has nothing to do with Nintendo's business. The gamespy servers are being shut down. I thought everybody already knew that already.




Monster hunter and Mariocart had the best online for the wii, Bring on mariocart 8 I am ready!



Mk_II said:

I know it had to happen some time but i honestly feel this is way too soon.



LuckyTJ said:




ZachBeacon said:

@ZenTurtle I would if I could ever find an internet connection that worked with my DS games. I really wish Nintendo hadn't locked everyone out of the postgame content in games like Layton and DQ9 by using outdated encryption.



ZenTurtle said:

When it worked, NWC was actually quite fun. You did have to be within 8m of the access point, and it took forever to connect, like you said.



IceClimbers said:

@LuckyTJ Yes, you can still transfer from Gen 5 to Gen 6. Bank uses Nintendo Network. In fact, transferring from as far back as Gen 3 will still be possible.



IceClimbers said:

End of an era indeed. Will definitely play some Mario Kart Wii online and might make some Pokemon (legal ones, unfair ones aren't right). Good thing I already created a 6 IV Ditto for breeding in X/Y.



IceClimbers said:

@WillhamBoyGeniu 3DS and Wii U run on Nintendo Network, which Nintendo owns and maintains. They won't go offline unless Nintendo decides to shut off the servers for those specific games.



BestBuck15 said:

I played Mario kart Wii online earlier and it was a blast. Gonna miss it but hey MK8 in 10 days .

That is what I was wondering. I don't think anyone actually knows.

Mario strikers charged was epic online. It was the Wii's first online game. I was totally hooked back whenever and according to the Nintendo channel on my Wii I played it for 300 hours with other games only averaging about 20 hours. It was the only game I played for about a year brilliant. Wiiu does need a version.



Porky said:

@Blue-Thunder Pretty sure Pokemon Battle Revolution was the first online Wii game.

Edit: Oops, you're right if you're from the UK area.



SMW said:

Farewell WFC. I had some great times on there; glitches and all. Here are my favorites:

Onslaught, Snowboard Riot, Water Warfare, SEGA Racing, Mario Kart, Goldeneye, Animal Crossing, Excitebike, M&S Olympics, Motoheroz, We Love Golf, Virtua Tennis 2009, and WarioWare DIY.



Squashy said:

@Bulbousaur and @Blue-Thunder I just had the idea to go on Nintendo's Japanese website to see if that had the exact details and great news, it does! Even better news though it that the Wi-Fi doesn't go off until on the 20th itself so we still have tomorrow to play!

We don't have all of tomorrow though, it states that it goes off at 23:00 which converted to England time is 3PM so bear that in mind.

Here's the link to the page:

You'll need Google Translate to make any sense of it of course unless you can read Japanese!



Emaan said:

This makes me so sad.

I think I'll play some Mario Kart Wii online and visit some towns for the last time on Animal Crossing: City Folk

I never really played much of the Pokemon DS games online, except for using the Global Trade Station. I wish I did.



Squashy said:

I've just thought, 3PM in England is in the morning in America so attention all Americans make sure you get your last games in in the morning!



Gridatttack said:

Not exactly, MKW wont be dead till much later.
People managed to get in a custom server so online still works.

Problem is...the hackless version is still on it way...



rjejr said:

@Blue-Thunder - "I played it for 300 hours "

Just curious, do you like soccer in real life? My kids both played a lot of Strikers, and 4 years each of soccer when they wee younger, but I'm pretty sure they liked Strikers more. Maybe I'll try to get them into the World Cup this year. Should've had a new Mario vs Sonic Strikers to tie into the World Cup. Almost no point after that.



Windy said:

We had 8 people last night playing Phantasy Star Zero for 3 hours. It was so much fun. All I could think of was that there wasn't a game on 3DS With the quality and options of Phantasy star zero. Really it seems online play with 3DS has moved in reverse. Someone needs to take a good look at PSZ then incorporate what they see into any future online games which have online. It was done perfectly



chiefeagle02 said:

Mario Kart Wii worked perfectly for me tonight. Smash Bros is stuck on the "Seeking Opponent" screen (my Ice Climbers are ready).



Trikeboy said:

@AyeHaley you don't need the GTS to make hacked Pokemon if you know what you are doing and have the right, fairly cheap hardware and software. My Pokemon are always legal would always pass the GTS security and make it through PokeTransfer. Others are not so inclined.



ecco6t9 said:

I am happy to have downloaded my Dragon Quest IX quests and Warioware DiY games.



MagicBox said:

This really didn't bother me until I remembered Dragon Quest IX. That's still on my "to-play" list. I've seen a lot of people these past few days saying that without wi-fi, they "might as well just sell their DQIX carts." Is the game really that reliant on the online features? How much of the game will I be able to play without them?

Also sad that I never got around to downloading all of those Professor Layton puzzles, but aside from that, I've had my fun. R.I.P. Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.



SakuraHaruka said:

Well, Today I played many races in Mario Kart Wii Online and Yay!!!, many, many racers, but well, for me, because is night here in Mexico, it's all done for Mario Kart Wii Online, Thanks Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, see you in any next time, "hasta la vista", XD



RedYoshi999 said:

Surprisingly, Mario Kart Wii actually worked on my Wii U this time, so I had my last bit of fun online. Thanks for the memories Nintendo WiFi Connection!



BestBuck15 said:

I'm not into soccer. Strikers is about mastering the weapons and flattening your opponent it's a great laugh.



Gameday said:

5/20 R.I.P.
Great Times:
Goldeneye 007 , Super Smash Bros Brawl , Monster Hunter Tri 3 , Kart , Uno Wiiware , Tv Show King , ExciteBike World Rally etc etc



YoshiTails said:

Did anyone ever come across trolls on mariokart wii online that filled tracks to the brim with weapons? I thought that made it more fun.. like racing through a warzone in a fight for survival.



StarDust4Ever said:

Played scads of Mario Kart Wii the other day. Downloaded all 32 World Record Ghosts. I suggest people download them while they re still up. Some unbelievable shortcuts and exploits to be had in there... Also glad to see players on Excite Bike World Ralley. I played for hours earlier tonight. Then I noticed the Wifi logo on my Excitebots Trick Racing. I loaded Excitebots into my Wii-U and gamed a couple hours more. Power went off momentarily in the middle of a race. I booted my Wii-U into Wii mode and played some more. Same group of die hards I had played earlier. My records were sill intact too. How did I ever overlook the Wifi logo on the Excitebots game? Sadly I sold Super Strikers Charged Wii a while back or I would have played some of that too. For some reason I prefered the GameCube version so I sold the Wii one back. I also enjoyed Smash Brothers Brawl but I suck at it. Maybe I could just spectate some wifi matches but I need to go to bed. But by the time I wake up, the Nintendo wifi will be no more...

Anybody curious, here's the local time in Japan:

Servers are scheduled to go offline at 23:00hr. RIP...



Drawdler said:

Well, it's over. I saw this when I tried to visit another Wi-Fi Plaza.
Across today and yesterday, I spent 12 hours on the Wi-Fi plaza. When I started playing on it my game's play time was at 232 hours, and now it's at 244.

It was so amazing getting to see it again, playing all those Plaza games. I hadn't played them for years. There was also some funny stuff, like checking the Plaza News only to see the single News Headline was "Emz is checking the Plaza News...", or seeing people who were hanging around online, but were only ever looking at the bulletin board for Plaza News, never moving away. There was also plenty of chatting and sharing Tap Toys, and I saw a bunch of the same users a few times on different Plazas. It's too bad that I couldn't share details to play together with them somehow, on the 3DS. Doing this for 12 hours was pointless, and it was kind of mindless, but I don't care. I had a lot of fun.

And fittingly, the last Wi-Fi Plaza I got to visit was the special Mew one. Before, I'd only ever seen this once (yesterday!). I didn't even know it existed until yesterday, actually.

Not sure if getting to see the Mew Plaza as the last ever Wi-Fi Plaza is wonderful or bad birthday gift from Nintendo.



stevemie said:

Just Nintendo's way of saying, we give up. Their regional coding cost them a lot of customers in Europe. Some of the poorest marketing I have ever seen. They could have had it all and they blew it. Oh well, time to move on to another console. At least I'll have a wider selection of games to choose from.
Nintendo - R.I.P.



PGS_71 said:

I've just tried Mario Kart and got the discontinued message. But for those interested, both Call of Duty Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3 are both still running online.

Now maybe they will be switched off too but I notice that both games do not have the usual blue coloured "Nintendo Wi-Fi connection" logo on the box, they have a different black coloured "Wi-FI Compatible" logo instead. So maybe they run on different servers?

I've mostly moved on to Wii U COD but I do like to go back to Black Ops and MW3 now and again, so fingers crossed!



FJOJR said:

Played Trauma Center New Blood and uploaded a couple of scores. I remember when the WFC was so cool and new but the frustration of finding reliable connections or just lack of excitement when playing online kept me away. Ultimately I like local multiplayer or single player experiences.



StarDust4Ever said:

Yup, just as I predicted. Wifi network was down when I got up around 12:30 CDT. Was greeted by an error message in Mario Kart. I wonder if any people here were gaming the exact instant the plug got pulled. Did anybody playing online get booted off in the middle of a match?

RIP MK-Wii...
RIP Smash Bros Brawl...
RIP Super Strikers Charged...
RIP ExiteBots...
RIP ExciteBike (Wiiware)...
RIP Dr Mario Rx Online...
RIP Pokemon (all DS versions)...

And all the other great games I never played...

But a big Hurray for MK8 coming up! Until then, MK7 is still game on for a long time to come!



TantXL said:

Good bye my dear friend...
I will not forget about you... I hope.
This is the end of an era.
To bad, but everything has to end at some point...



Grumblevolcano said:

@StarDust4Ever An odd thing I noticed is that if you connected to WFC before the shutdown time you could actually stay online until you chose to leave or get disconnected (the type of disconnect pre-shutoff).



Porky said:

It may be possible for Nintendo to redirect the ds and wii wifi servers to it's own Nintendo Network server in the future. Hopefully!



StarDust4Ever said:

@WillhamBoyGeniu Doubtful. The games will need to be patched to get them working again, something Nintendo cannot be arsed to do. Homebrew servers would require patched ROMs which means either emulators or mod-chipped systems with bootleg copy of the game. How many people will actually go online with it? Also unless someone has a lightning speed Internet server in their garage, the latency will make the game play like poopydoodle.

Although perhaps it would be possible using the Wii Lan adapter or Wifi dongle to connect the Wii or DS to a PC and use the PC as a fake DNS to redirect the console to another server. That may allow the Wii/DS games wifi games to operate unmodded. But who would run a free server, and do hackers know enough about the protocol to make it work?



Squashy said:

@Grumblevolcano #116 Nice! I was still playing Mario Kart an hour after the shut down, but stupidly I thought the fact it was still working meant that it hadn't been shut off yet so I quit the game to switch to Smash Bros and then of course I was stuffed! So were there still lots of people playing when you got disconnected just now?



Grumblevolcano said:

@StarDust4Ever @Squashy There were still near full races, the one I got disconnected in had 11 people. It was surprising that in those 8 hours there were no hackers, no ultra glitchers (e.g. complete 3 laps of Grumble Volcano in less than a minute), even no track spammers (although random did choose GCN Waluigi Stadium a lot).



BestBuck15 said:

You know I played a lot of MK Wii online in the last couple of months since I learned of the impending shutdown of the online service. I probably played more than I ever did before that.

I'm glad the service has shut down because that game has done my head in . If I never see Rainbow road again it will be to soon.

In my last race it was on that track 'which is my least favourite' some person decided to drop a bomb directly in front of me 10 feet from the finish line casing me to finish last, I was so mad.

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