Club Nintendo will shut down later this year

If you've been saving up your Club Nintendo coins/stars, thinking they'll be the new standard currency after the inevitable collapse of the world economy, I have some bad news for you: Nintendo's shutting the whole thing down later this year. Club Nintendo, I mean, not the world economy.

Both Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe announced on Tuesday that they will soon dismantle their respective incarnations of the loyalty program. For more than six years, Club Nintendo has rewarded fans for registering products and filling out surveys with a shifting lineup of physical and downloadable goodies - everything from Virtual Console download codes to a limited-edition Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon figurine.

Nintendo says it wants to focus on an all-new customer loyalty program which it plans to launch later this year in Europe. As such, no new Nintendo games released from January 20 in North America or April 1 onward in Europe will be eligible for registration on Club Nintendo.

You have until March 31 in America or April 20 in Europe to make a new profile or earn coins from filling out surveys and registering products. And lastly, you have until June 30 in America or September 30 in Europe to grab any rewards - the services will be taken offline for good by the next day. Nintendo says it will keep adding more downloadable games and reward items to the catalog over coming months so users can burn off their remaining currency.

One last regional difference: Nintendo of America says all current Club Nintendo members will receive a download code for Flipnote Studio 3D in February as thanks for using the service, while Nintendo of Europe says it will give out codes to users who sign up for the new loyalty program within its 'launch period'. Weird.