Today marks the beginning of the end for Nintendo's DSi Shop. Nintendo announced that come March 31, 2017 - exactly one year from now - its very first digital storefront for a portable gaming system will cease all operations.
The move toward the eventual shutdown will begin on Sept. 30, 2016, when users will no longer be able to use their credit cards or Nintendo Points Cards to add Nintendo DSi Points to their accounts. From there, it simply becomes a long haul until March 31 of next year when users will lose access to the shop, including the ability to download previously purchased content.
However, Nintendo revealed in the announcement that many games and applications (DSiWare) available on the DSi Shop will still be accessible on Nintendo's current lineup of 3DS handheld systems, including the Nintendo 2DS, via the 3DS storefront. Furthermore, it's possible to transfer any DSi software to a 3DS system, and Nintendo recommends doing so before it's too late.
Introduced for the Nintendo DSi on Nov. 1, 2008 and for the Nintendo DSi XL on Nov. 21, 2009, the DSi Shop was Nintendo's very first digital storefront for a portable gaming system, and quite honestly it's surprising it lasted this long.
The eShop on the 3DS launched less than two years later on June 6, 2011, and the associated system soon eclipsed its predecessor, while the eShop itself offered much of what the DSi Shop had to offer. Then again, this is no different that what's going on with the eShop on the Wii U and the older Wii Shop Channel, so maybe the Wii Shop Channel will also become slated for closure soon as well.
In the meantime, users should go forward knowing that it might be worth it to hold onto any unused DSi point cards rather than spending them in a hurry as Nintendo has alluded to some kind of refund system that it will put in place for relevent consumers.
It's also worth mentioning that this announcement only applies to Japan for now, as Nintendo's branches in the Americas, Europe, Oceania and other regions have yet to make a similar one. However, what goes down in Japan is likely to occur in other regions, so it wouldn't hurt to make preparations in advance.