On May 20th, Nintendo will be shutting down part of the online infrastructure for the Nintendo Wii and DS/DSi consoles. I've seen confusion about what this actually means in various places online, so I decided to do a handy little post that contains the facts.
Firstly, here is what is not going to be affected:
The Internet Channel, Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, the Nintendo DS and DSi Internet Browsers, the Nintendo DSi shop, the Wii Shop Channel and YouTube.
These services will all still be available after May 20th. This means that you can continue to buy and download DSiWare games on the DSi, and WiiWare and Virtual Console titles through the Wii and the Wii Mode on the Wii U.
Also, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Pay & Play service, which allows you to buy DLC for some titles like Guitar Hero 2, Samba De Amigo and Rock Band 2, will still be available. I've stated this separately as it has the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection name in the title and did not want any confusion on that.
A list of games affected by the shutdown can be found on the Nintendo site, but I'll go over some of them to say what is affected.
Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart DS: Online multiplayer and other functions will no longer be available.
Professor Layton titles: The weekly puzzles will no longer be available to download.
4th and 5th Generation Pokemon titles: Online battles and the GTS trading system will no longer work. Trading can still occur locally, and transferring Pokemon from 5th to 6th gen games is unaffected, as that uses the Nintendo Network rather than Wi-Fi Connect.
Wii and DS Animal Crossing titles: Monthly items will no longer be available to download from the internet.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Online multiplayer will no longer be available. Project M is also affected.
Oh, and just because:
100 Classic Book Collection: Extra titles will no longer be available to download. Those in the US, grab The Three Musketeers while you can.
Online functionality on Wii U and 3DS titles are not affected, only Wii and DS titles with the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection label on the box.
I would cry for the loss of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, but my tears have long been shed after the death of the Forecast Channel back in June last year. I keep hoping it will return to the Wii U, because watching that always cheered me up and made me feel I was living in a crazy future world, like the ones I had witnessed in my youth watching sci-fi anime.
What better way to play us out of than the Nighttime Globe music from the Forecast channel.
RIP, WFC. You were young and free.