The 3DS and Wii U eShops are mostly dead, but you have three days left to redeem your game codes

Nintendo 3DS bundle
(Image credit: Nintendo)

You can no longer purchase games on the 3DS and Wii U eShops, but neither store is completely dead just yet, as Nintendo has issued a brief stay of execution on your ability to redeem eShop codes.

It seems Nintendo accidentally shut down eShop code redemption a few hours ahead of the proper store shutdown, so the company's extended the deadline to get your downloads in. "As the feature to redeem download codes was disabled earlier than scheduled, we’ve extended the ability to redeem download codes until approximately 9:30 PM Pacific Time on April 3, 2023," Nintendo explains in its support article. "Please redeem any remaining download codes from the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U before then."

This is a real 'last chance for desperate circumstances' sort of PSA, however. Most online retailers no longer sell digital game codes for either system, so you'll likely only have reason to heed this warning if you've got some old codes lying around - perhaps you've forgotten to redeem a DLC code included in a game package. If you've got a stack of Wii U or 3DS cases on a back shelf somewhere, maybe pop those open before April 3 rolls around.

A handful of indie devs are also giving away free codes for their 3DS and Wii U games as part of some social media promotions, as Nintendo Life notes. Keep your eyes peeled for other giveaways if you're keen to pack your SD cards to the gills in these final days.

With the eShop shutdown, hundreds upon hundreds of games are becoming inaccessible by legal means, available only to those willing to engage in software piracy. Gaming historians are working to make legal libraries for these digital games available for everyone, however, and one YouTuber's $20,000 quest to buy everything on the entire eShop is a surprisingly big step toward making that possible.

If you're looking for alternative ways to play your 3DS library, the excellent Citra emulator recently detailed some major updates.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.