Wii U, 3DS eShops will go offline for 12 hours of maintenance starting later today

Above: Nintendo's 3DS eShop.

Image Credit: Nintendo
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Nintendo had a bit of a mess on its hands during Christmas, and now it’s gotta spend its Friday evening cleaning it up.

The company’s digital-download markets on its Wii U, 3DS, Wii, and DS gaming systems experienced a number of technical difficulties on Wednesday that continued through yesterday. During the outages, customers couldn’t access Nintendo’s online stores to purchase downloadable games or to create IDs for the Nintendo Network online services.

The eShop is up and running now on all Nintendo consoles, but the company revealed this morning that it plans to take the digital-distribution service offline across all of its platforms for maintenance starting at 1 p.m. Pacific (4 p.m. Eastern).

Nintendo’s U.K. office tweeted the announcement earlier (as first spotted by The Next Web), and Nintendo of America posted the following update to its Facebook page:

We sincerely apologize for the connection problems in the Nintendo eShop. We understand this is taking longer than expected, but we can assure you that providing a solution is our top priority. We are determined to make sure everyone can enjoy all that Wii U and Nintendo 3DS have to offer. In an effort to manage the high volume of traffic and ultimately improve your experience, we are temporarily taking the Nintendo eShop services offline between the hours of 4 p.m. — 4 a.m. ET. Thank you so much for your continued patience. We will keep you updated.

Nintendo wasn’t the only company affected by a huge influx of holiday gamers. Sony‘s PlayStation Network, Microsoft’s Xbox Live, and Valve’s Steam all suffered from intermittent connection issues. Unlike Nintendo, however, those services only had problems on Christmas day. By Thursday, only the eShop stores were still buckling under the demand.

This maintenance won’t only impact Nintendo’s download shops. The publisher also revealed that it’s delaying the Pokémon Bank app for 3DS. This program enables Pokémon players to transfer their pocket monsters to the cloud so that they can access them from other games in the series. Pokémon Bank was originally scheduled to debut today. Nintendo did not provide a new launch date for the app.

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