A question that has echoed in the gaming industry ever since online play became a primary attraction for gamers is somewhat of a taboo one that no one mentions: When is the time right to cut off online services for old consoles?
Well, Nintendo answered that question for three of their old consoles. According to Nintendo's official site for Australia, Wi-Fi service for the Wii, DS, and DSi will be cut off on May 20, 2014. The message is short and sweet:
As of May 20th, 2014, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service will be discontinued and it will no longer be possible to use online features of Nintendo DS/DSi and Wii software such as online play, matchmaking and leaderboards.
For a full list of which Nintendo-published games are affected, please visit our Support section.
The Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop will not be affected however, and will continue to be accessible after May 20th.
While most players have made the jump to the next-generation, this seems like a pretty hasty move when comparing Nintendo to other companies. Microsoft has said that they will continue online support for the Xbox 360 because the demand is still there, while Sony has said that the PS3 still has healthy support and has no plans to pull the plug either.
Nintendo has had trouble the past couple of years. The Wii U has not done anywhere close to what Nintendo projected, Satoru Iwata has taken a big pay cut because of the fallout, and while the 3DS is still churning out some great games, one has to wonder just what the immediate future holds in store for Nintendo. Only time will tell.