Nintendo retiring Wii and DS net connections
Published Friday, February 28, 2014 7:40AM EST
After nearly nine years, the online network that supports Nintendo's Wii and DS consoles will be shut off in May.
The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection was launched in November 2005 and allowed online play for owners of the two home and portable consoles.
Its retirement, scheduled for May 20, marks the end of online multiplayer for 20 Wii and 40 DS titles.
That leaves a little under three months for owners to cram in as many online sessions of "Super Smash Bros. Brawl," "Mario Kart Wii" and "Mario Kart DS" as possible.
A slew of Pokémon titles -- up to and including "Black 2" and "White 2" -- as well as four Professor Layton games are included in the list of those affected.
At the same time, the Wii and DS's internet browsers and electronic download shops will remain active, as do the respective YouTube apps and any local multiplayer functions.
The change allows Nintendo to better concentrate attention on the Wii U and 3DS.
A replacement service, the Nintendo Network, was introduced for the 3DS line in January 2012, and then for the Wii U at launch in November of the same year; a December 2013 update made Nintendo Network IDs essential for users of the 3DS's eShop.
While many original DS and DSi owners will have already moved over to the 3DS, Nintendo is keen to bolster uptake of the Wii U, whose upcoming titles include "Mario Kart 8" and "Super Smash Bros. for Wii U."