Wii/DS Online Play Shutting Down May 20
On the 20th of May, 2014, Nintendo will be deprecating their online gameplay servers for all DS and Wii software, according to a press release from February 27th. Only online play features for the software are affected, including online leaderboards and downloadable content. The Nintendo eShop will still be available for both systems. Even when played on the updated systems (Wii U and 3DS), the software will still not function online, as the servers providing the functionality are being shut down.
It is very likely that the services are being shut down to facilitate new features of the Nintendo Network, Nintendo’s newly-unified online infrastructure for the 3DS and Wii U. This type of planned obsolescence is not uncommon. Microsoft kept the lights on for Xbox Live on the 2001 Xbox until 2010, four years after the release of the Xbox 360. Sony has not declared an en masse end to Playstation 2 online play simply because, as the servers for those games are run by the software publishers and the PS2 does not use a centralized online service, it is impossible to shut them all down at once– in fact, Resident Evil Outbreak’s online functionality was restored using unofficial third-party servers in Japan earlier this year. However, even if Nintendo is planning on major upgrades and changes to the Nintendo Network in the wake of this shutdown, they have not announced anything concrete.