Nintendo eShop

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Nintendo eShop
The Nintendo eShop icon and logo.
Nintendo eShop screenshot (Wii U).jpg
The Nintendo eShop's main page on the Wii U
Developer Nintendo
Type Online distribution
Launch date June 6, 2011 (3DS)
November 18, 2012 (Wii U)
March 3, 2017 (Switch)
Platform Nintendo 3DS family
Wii U
Nintendo Switch
Status Active
Members 26 million (as of September 2013)[1]
Website Online
Official website
Wii U
Official website
Nintendo 3DS
Official website

The Nintendo eShop[a] is a digital distribution service powered by the Nintendo Network for the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U and Nintendo Switch, and by a dedicated online infrastructure for Nintendo Switch. Launched in June 2011 on the Nintendo 3DS, the eShop was enabled by the release of a system update that added the functionality to the Nintendo 3DS's HOME Menu.[2] It is the successor to both the Wii Shop Channel and DSi Shop. Unlike on the Nintendo 3DS, the eShop was made available on the launch date of the Wii U, although a system update is required in order to access it.[3] It is also a multitasking application, which means it is easily accessible even when a game is already running in the background through the system software, though this feature is exclusive to the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo eShop features downloadable games, demos, applications, streaming videos, consumer rating feedback, and other information on upcoming game releases.


The Nintendo eShop icon appears as part of the HOME Menu on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS and requires an Internet connection to access. Initially, the two versions of the Nintendo eShop between the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U were independent of each other. Whilst this still remains largely true, after the implementation of Nintendo Network ID for the Nintendo 3DS, users that register the same ID account between both systems (currently at one time per console) could share certain data between both versions of the eShop, such as a combined funds balance, home address, saved credit and debit card information, wish list entries, and (formerly) linked Club Nintendo accounts. With the release of the Nintendo Switch version of the Nintendo eShop, balance stored on a Nintendo Network ID can be shared or transferred to a Nintendo Account to be spent on the Nintendo Switch.

The eShop stores a record of all downloads and purchases, allowing users to re-download previously purchased software at no additional charge, provided the software is still available on the eShop. Downloads can be started immediately, or they can be queued up and be pushed to the console while it is not in use or when the eShop application is not running.[4] Users upgrading from a Nintendo DSi system can transfer their previous DSiWare purchases to the Nintendo 3DS, with limited exceptions, such as Flipnote Studio and the DSi web browser.[5] A December 2011 update enabled a similar feature allowing users to transfer their purchases between 3DS systems.[6] Prior to the implementation of Nintendo Network ID for the Nintendo 3DS in December 2013, only five transfers between Nintendo 3DS systems were permitted. The limit on system transfers has since been permanently waived.


Unlike the Wii Shop Channel and the DSi Shop services, which use Nintendo Points for purchases, the Nintendo eShop lists pricing in the appropriate regional currencies, such as dollars and euros.[7] Accounts can be funded using either credit cards or prepaid cards purchased in stores.[8]


The Nintendo eShop can be accessed any time via the HOME menu screen, even when a game is already running. This feature, however, is only available on Wii U and Nintendo Switch. Background downloading is also possible via SpotPass while using any other application on the Wii U or Nintendo Switch, and while in Sleep Mode on Nintendo 3DS.[9] Currently, 10 downloads can be queued at a time. The status of the downloads can be checked on the HOME menu under the "Download Manager". If notifications are activated, a pop-up message will appear in the top right corner of the screen to notify the user that a download is finished.


The Nintendo eShop supports user reviews of games, applications, and other media. After an eShop title has been acquired and used for at least one hour, users can then submit a review consisting of a crescent range of one to five "stars", representing the title's quality. Users can also categorize games by age and gender, and as being suitable for either hardcore or casual gamers. The Wii U has Miiverse integration for user reviews on the Nintendo eShop.

Deluxe Digital Promotion and Nintendo Network Premium[edit]

Nintendo Network Premium logo

On September 13, 2012, during a Japanese Nintendo Direct presentation, Satoru Iwata introduced a new dimension to Nintendo's online offering, called Deluxe Digital Promotion (North America)/Nintendo Network Premium (Europe, Australia and Japan). It was a loyalty program similar to PlayStation Plus offered on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Gold on Xbox Live.

Consumers who purchase the Wii U Deluxe Pack in North America, or the Wii U Premium Pack in Europe and Japan, will receive a free two-year subscription to this service which lets Wii U owners receive points for each digital purchase.

Members who buy games and apps through the Wii U Nintendo eShop will receive ten percent of the price back in the form of Nintendo Points, which can subsequently be put towards future online purchases on both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS eShop. The promotion was available through March 31, 2015.[citation needed]

The program was discontinued on April 1, 2015 and the URL just leads to a discontinuation message and the reader gets a URL redirecting to Nintendo's official website. The service was never fully implemented beyond its promotional period, albeit succeeding the program My Nintendo features a similar concept for anyone who links their Nintendo Network ID to their Nintendo Account profile, where users can earn Gold Points via any Nintendo eShop purchase and redeem them for full downloads or discount coupons available.

List of available content[edit]

The following types of games, applications and media are available to download from the Nintendo eShop (or Wii Shop Channel in the Wii U's Wii Mode):

Content Free or Purchase Wii U Nintendo 3DS family
Video Game Software
Download Software Free and Purchase Yes
Retail titles Free and Purchase Yes
Add-on Content Free and Purchase Yes
Patches/Update Data Free Yes
Demos Free Yes
Nintendo & Sega 3D Classics Purchase No Yes
Wii titles Purchase Downloadable titles that use a backward-compatibility similar to Wii Mode No
WiiWare titles Purchasable with Wii Points in Wii Mode only (Transferable from Wii consoles for free) Available in Wii Mode only No
DSiWare titles Purchase
(Transferable from Nintendo DSi for free)
No Yes
Nintendo Virtual Console
Virtual Console Arcade Purchasable with Wii Points in Wii Mode only Available in Wii Mode only Available through the Nintendo & Sega 3D Classics line-ups only
Famicom/NES Free and Purchase Yes Yes, but some NES titles are available through the Nintendo 3D Classics line-up only
Super Famicom/Super NES Purchase Yes Available on the new Nintendo 3DS models only
Nintendo 64 Purchase Yes No
Master System Purchasable with Wii Points in Wii Mode only Available in Wii Mode only Available through the Sega 3D Classics line-up only
Mega Drive/Genesis Purchasable with Wii Points in Wii Mode only Available in Wii Mode only Available through the Sega 3D Classics line-up only
PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 Purchase Yes Available on Japanese Systems only
Neo Geo AES Purchasable with Wii Points in Wii Mode only Available in Wii Mode only No
Commodore 64 (removed)
(North America and PAL region Systems only)
Formerly able to be purchased; removed in August 2013
(Purchased titles can be redownloaded)
Available in Wii Mode only
(removed from Wii Shop Channel in August 2013,[10] but purchased games can be redownloaded)
(Japanese Systems only)
Purchase (Japanese Systems Only) Yes No
Game Boy Purchase Dr Mario and Kirby's Dream Land 1 & 2 only Yes
Game Boy Color Purchase No Yes
Game Boy Advance Free and Purchase Yes Available through the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program only
Nintendo DS / DSi Purchase Nintendo DS games only Nintendo DS and DSi games can be played on the 3DS through backward compatibility, and DSiWare is available to download from the Nintendo eShop.
Game Gear Purchase No Yes
Screenshots taken from in-game footage Free HD 2D and 3D
Game videos (including trailers, behind the scenes, interviews, commercials, and promotional videos) Free HD and SD 2D and 3D
Video walkthroughs Free HD and SD 2D and 3D
Short films from third-party studios Free and Purchase No 2D and 3D
Nintendo TV (Official Nintendo Magazine)
(United Kingdom only)
Free No 2D
Nintendo eShop News Free Yes
Nintendo Direct conference videos Free Yes
Apps Free and Purchase Yes

Download Software[edit]

Nintendo 3DS Download Software logo

An extension of the WiiWare and DSiWare series of downloadable software, these titles have been specifically created to utilize the capabilities of the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS respectively. These can be applications, videos, or games.

Retail titles[edit]

The majority of Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch, as well as select Wii retail software titles are available to download via the Nintendo eShop. The first of these titles was New Super Mario Bros. 2, which launched on the Nintendo 3DS eShop alongside its retail release in August 2012.[11] A system update in March 2013 allows players to transfer save data from a physical version of a game to a download version.[12]

Download-only titles[edit]

Any video game company, notably independent video game developers, may publish their own games via the Nintendo eShop as download-only software for the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch. Various titles, which may be sold as retail games in some regions, might be released as download-only software in others for various reasons, such as cost-effective localisation.

3D Classics[edit]

3D Classics are a series of NES/Famicom, Arcade, and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis games remade with added 3D functionality and updated features, although the overall graphics retain their original art style and appearance. These titles are exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.

Add-on content[edit]

Add-on content includes downloadable content (DLC) or microtransactions to augment existing titles, the addition of new features, and patches. This content can both be free to download or purchasable. Add-on software can be added to both downloadable and physical games, and be purchased either individually or via in-game stores.


As of December 6, 2011, a system update upgraded the service to feature downloadable demos of retail games and eShop games.[4] Developers have the option to limit access to demos, such as limiting the number of plays available to the user.[4] When the number of plays reaches zero, the demo cannot be opened. The first paid demo was released in Japan on August 4, 2011,[13] and free demos were further released in Japan on December 27, 2011[14] and in North America on January 19, 2012. As of December 9, 2013, Nintendo Network IDs were implemented onto the Nintendo 3DS, becoming required for downloading free demos from the eShop.

Software updates[edit]

Software updates, more commonly known as patches, have been available on both Nintendo 3DS, since April 25, 2012,[15] and Wii U, since November 18, 2012,[16] via a system update. These system updates gave the ability to patch downloadable titles, as well as retail games, through both the Nintendo eShop and HOME Menu. These patches have the main purpose of fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs, and improving the usability or performance. Patches can also be downloaded while using other applications via the systems' Download Manager.

Virtual Console[edit]

Virtual Console
Wii Virtual console Logo.png
Developer Nintendo
Type Classic video game re-release
Launch date Nintendo 3DS
June 6, 2011
Wii U
January 23, 2013 (soft launch)
April 26, 2013 (official launch)
Platform Nintendo 3DS
Wii U
Website Nintendo 3DS
Official US website
Official UK website
Official Japanese website
Wii U
Official US website
Official UK website
Official Japanese website

Virtual Console (バーチャルコンソール, Bācharu Konsōru), sometimes abbreviated as VC, is a specialized section of the Nintendo eShop online service that allow players to purchase and download games and other software for Nintendo's Wii U and Nintendo 3DS consoles.

Wii U[edit]

The Wii U uses the Wii U Menu and Nintendo eShop to access and purchase Virtual Console titles, respectively. Virtual Console games on the Wii U can be suspended and users can also create save states anytime. The GamePad is only compatible with these titles through Off-TV Play.

Currently, select titles from the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS libraries are available for purchase on the eShop. Most of the Virtual Console library available on the original Wii is also available on Wii U, but only through the implementation of the console's "Wii Mode" and Wii Shop Channel, to access and purchase Virtual Console titles. Wii Virtual Console games cannot be controlled using the Wii U GamePad, albeit the current versions of the system software support displaying Wii Virtual Console games on the GamePad screen, as if playing any other Wii game.

Nintendo 3DS[edit]

The Nintendo 3DS uses the HOME Menu and Nintendo eShop to access and purchase Virtual Console titles, respectively. Virtual Console games on the Nintendo 3DS can be suspended and users can also create save states anytime.

Currently, titles from the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance (For Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors only) NES, SNES (New Nintendo 3DS exclusive), Sega Game Gear, and Turbografx16 (Japan only) are available for purchase on the eShop.

Twenty free NES and GBA games are available to 3DS owners who became eligible in the Ambassador's program (users who logged onto the Nintendo eShop prior to August 12, 2011, and did not format their personal eShop details). Special features in this interpretation of the Virtual Console allow players to create Restore Points, temporarily saving the game state for use later, and the optional ability to view games in their original resolution accompanied with special borders or templates.

GBA Ambassador games like Nintendo DS and DSi games and DSiWare can be displayed at their original screen resolution but don't support: Sleep Mode (Certain GBA games can be put into sleep mode by button combinations or in menu options), Restore Points, Home Menu functionality, SpotPass, StreetPass, Multiplayer, and Auto Brightness (New Nintendo 3DS models only).


WiiWare, for the Wii video game console, has been available for the Wii U since launch day, when an update added support for the Wii Shop Channel's library of WiiWare games. Unlike the Nintendo 3DS, WiiWare software is only available for download on the Wii U through Wii Mode, not the Nintendo eShop. Similarly to using Wii software on the Wii U, WiiWare can only be played in its original resolution, via Wii Mode, and Wii U Home Menu functionality is disabled whilst WiiWare software is being played. There are over 450 downloadable games available in North America as of October 2012. Initially all titles, with sole exception of LostWinds, were made available on the Wii U. LostWinds had since been patched and made available for transfer and purchase on the Wii U.[17] Nintendo has yet to reveal the fate of the WiiWare library in the future.


DSiWare, for the Nintendo DSi handheld game console has been available for the Nintendo 3DS since June 2011, when an update added support for the Nintendo eShop service which contains most of the DSi Shop's library of DSiWare games. With a few exceptions for certain games or applications such as Flipnote Studio and the DSi Internet Browser, the majority of existing DSiWare software is available for download on the Nintendo 3DS through the Nintendo eShop. Similar to using Nintendo DS software, DSiWare can be optionally viewed in its original resolution and Home Menu functionality, SpotPass, StreetPass, Auto Brightness (New Nintendo 3DS only) and 3D Functionality is disabled whilst DSiWare software is being played. There are over 550 downloadable DSiWare games available in North America as of January 2016.[18] DSiWare games and software on the Nintendo eShop are largely priced near-identically as on the original DSi Shop. Online functionality has been defunct in DSiWare titles due to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service ceasing operations as of May 20, 2014.

Video services[edit]

The Nintendo eShop offers a wide range of video streaming applications, which correspond to third party streaming services. Some of these services' applications are only available for download on Nintendo 3DS because every Wii U ships preloaded with Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Video applications.[19] These streaming services are available independently from Nintendo Network services.

Additionally, some videos can either be downloaded to the system's memory through SpotPass. On the Nintendo 3DS, many of these videos are offered in autostereoscopic 3D; on the Wii U, only 2D high definition videos are available. The exact content available varies by region.

Content Free or Subscription Wii U Nintendo 3DS
Video services integrated within Nintendo TVii
(cancelled in PAL regions; discontinued in North America)
Hulu Plus (United States only) Subscription Yes No
Amazon Video (United States only) Purchase
(Optional Amazon Prime subscription available)
Netflix Subscription Yes
DVR services integrated within Nintendo TVii
(officially announced but not released)
TiVo Purchase Yes No
Standalone video services
Netflix Subscription Yes
Hulu Plus (United States only) Subscription Yes
Amazon Video (Initially North America; later in Europe) Purchase
(Optional Amazon Prime subscription available)
Yes No
LoveFilm (Europe only; discontinued in favor of Amazon Video) Subscription Yes No
YouTube Free Yes
Nintendo Video (discontinued in all regions;
content remain available via North American eShop)
Free No Yes
YNN![20] (Japan only) Subscription Yes No
Nico Nico Douga (Japan only) Free Yes No
Crunchyroll (North America and Europe only) Free and Subscription Yes No
Online Shows
Nintendo TV (Official Nintendo Magazine) (United Kingdom only) Free No Yes
Nintendo eShop News Free Yes
Nintendo Direct conference videos Free Yes
Other video services
Short Films Free and Purchase Yes Yes

Canceled Services:

  • SpotPass TV – ceased operations on June 20, 2012.[21]
  • Eurosport – ceased operations on December 31, 2012.[22]
  • Nintendo Show 3D – last episode aired on March 28, 2013.[23]

Nintendo Unleashed (Official Nintendo Magazine)[edit]

Nintendo Unleashed is a video gaming online magazine published by Future Publishing for Nintendo Network. It is produced by the team behind the Official Nintendo Magazine and features video reviews and previews and footage of upcoming and recently released Nintendo games. Episodes are released monthly on the Nintendo eShop, Nintendo Channel and YouTube where users can watch all the latest news, reviews and previews of Wii, Wii U, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS and Virtual Console games. The show's original name and format was called "Nintendo TV".[24]

Nintendo Show 3D[edit]

Nintendo Show 3D was a video gaming online show produced by Nintendo and hosted by Jessie Cantrell. It featured video previews and footage of upcoming and recently released Nintendo 3DS retail and digital game titles. Episodes were released every two weeks on the Nintendo eShop free of charge. This series was exclusive to North American Nintendo 3DS consoles.[25] Nintendo Show 3D released its last episode on March 28, 2013,[23] two years after the North American release of the original Nintendo 3DS.

Nintendo eShop News[edit]

Japan exclusive news video conferences hosted by Satoru Iwata.[26][27]

Short films[edit]

The Nintendo eShop offers a wide range of downloadable video content for the Nintendo 3DS. These videos are mostly offered in 3D, and are downloaded right to the system's storage. In order to produce and distribute these short films, Nintendo has partnered with companies such as Breakthru Films, Black Box Productions, Atlantic Productions, Ka-Ching Cartoons and DreamWorks Animation.

In the future, Nintendo also plans to expand this video distribution service to even larger companies like DreamWorks, bringing exclusive content to Nintendo 3DS and Wii U owners.[28]


The Nintendo eShop and all of its features are officially available in 43 countries.[29][30]

  • Australia Australia
  • Austria Austria
  • Belgium Belgium
  • Brazil Brazil (Nintendo 3DS only)[31]
  • Bulgaria Bulgaria
  • Canada Canada
  • Croatia Croatia
  • Cyprus Cyprus
  • Czech Republic Czech Republic
  • Denmark Denmark
  • Estonia Estonia
  • Finland Finland
  • France France
  • Germany Germany
  • Greece Greece
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong (Nintendo 3DS only)
  • Hungary Hungary
  • Republic of Ireland Ireland
  • Italy Italy
  • Japan Japan
  • Latvia Latvia
  • Lithuania Lithuania
  • Luxembourg Luxembourg
  • Malta Malta
  • Mexico Mexico
  • Netherlands Netherlands
  • New Zealand New Zealand
  • Norway Norway
  • Poland Poland
  • Portugal Portugal
  • Romania Romania
  • Russia Russia
  • Slovakia Slovakia
  • Slovenia Slovenia
  • South Africa South Africa
  • South Korea South Korea (Nintendo 3DS only)
  • Spain Spain
  • Sweden Sweden
  • Switzerland Switzerland
  • Taiwan Taiwan (Nintendo 3DS only)
  • Turkey Turkey (Nintendo 3DS only) [32]
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom
  • United States United States

As access restrictions are based on the address entered by the user and not on IP address, it is possible for users from non-supported regions to use the service, although there may still be certain limits, such as the inability to use credit/debit cards to purchase content or add funds, unless said cards are issued by banks in supported regions.[citation needed] In such case, users may also opt to buy Nintendo eShop Cards if available in the country they live in.

In spite of the fact that all global PAL version Nintendo eShop users have access to identical hardware and servers, content availability does vary between local versions of the eShop in European and Oceanian continents due to legal reasons and differences in localisation entities.

Many countries may have official access to a localized variant of the Nintendo eShop, however the Nintendo eShop available in those countries may include limited or no downloadable content. Possible content could include only information on first party Nintendo titles, Game Updates, content from download codes, and Ambassador-eligible downloads for early Nintendo 3DS adopters.

Taiwan originally used a different eShop, but a few days after Nintendo Taiwan merged with Nintendo Hong Kong, Taiwan's eShop started using the same eShop as Hong Kong. Anyone who used the eShop before had their eShop account transferred to the Hong Kong eShop.

The Nintendo 3DS Theme Shop, Miiverse and Nintendo Network ID's are not available in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan.

On Nintendo Switch eShop, in striking contrast to the eShops of 3DS and Wii-U, users can freely change their country setting to any country regardless of the region of the system, allowing instant access to the any desired Nintendo eShop around the world, in the regional language and with region-specific games. While Nintendo is yet to officially announce the list of all countries with Switch eShop, it is likely that the availability is very close, if not same, with the Wii-U eShop, leaving 3DS only eShops inaccessible.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nintendo eShop (ニンテンドーeショップ, Nintendō īShoppu)


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  11. ^ Plunkett, Luke. "New Super Mario Bros. 2 Will be Nintendo's First Proper Downloadable Game". Kotaku. 
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  13. ^ ニンテンドー3DS|謎惑館 音の間に間に 第一話「光る目」|Nintendo. Retrieved on 23 August 2013.
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  16. ^ Wii U - System Update. Retrieved on 23 August 2013.
  17. ^ Whitehead, Thomas (26 April 2014). "LostWinds Now Available For Wii to Wii U Transfer". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  18. ^ "NINTENDO DROPPING PRICES OF NINTENDO DSI AND NINTENDO DSI XL SYSTEMS ON SEPT. 12" (Press release). Redmond, WA: Nintendo. August 30, 2010. Archived from the original on September 5, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  19. ^ Reisinger, Don (5 June 2012). "Nintendo confirms Netflix, Hulu Plus, others for Wii U | E3 2012 - CNET Reviews". CNET. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  20. ^ More apps announced for Japanese Wii U eShop | GoNintendo - What are YOU waiting for?. GoNintendo (5 December 2012). Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
  21. ^ SpotPass TV Canceled in Japan - News. Nintendo World Report. Retrieved on 23 August 2013.
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  27. ^ [Chotto Nintendo Direct] Wii U Nintendo eShop News 2013.2.6. YouTube (5 February 2013). Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
  28. ^ Nintendo Partners with DreamWorks Animation for Exclusive 3DS Video Content. The Hollywood Reporter (4 October 2011). Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
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  30. ^ "Usage Guide: How to use". Nintendo. Nintendo. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
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  32. ^