Nintendo posted a new tweet on its Japanese customer support account, assuring 3DS owners that the online Nintendo Network and eShop services will still be available even after the first models have been phased out from the official repair services. [Thanks, Game Watch!]
This announcement came only a day after Nintendo announced it will start phasing out 3DS consoles from its official service centers, starting with the original 3DS and 3DS XL at the end of March 2021. The New 3DS and Nintendo 2DS, along with the larger XL variants, will still be eligible for official repairs.
Although the Nintendo Network for 3DS should remain accessible for the time being, that doesn’t guarantee that the online service will be available forever. Nintendo used to run Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for the preceding platforms, the DS and Wii. The dedicated online service was shut down in May 2014, which caused many games on the platforms to lose online features as they depended on it. The newer Nintendo Network online platform, first launched in 2012, supports not only the 3DS consoles but also the Wii U.
The Nintendo 3DS series had officially ended after the company stopped productions of the remaining models—Nintendo 2DS, New 2DS XL, and New 3DS XL—in September 2020.