You probably don’t care that The Cheetah Girls: Passport to Stardom for the Nintendo DS is going to lose its online functionality tomorrow — but so is Mario Kart DS, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and hundreds more.
The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service that ran online play and interactivity on the Wii and DS systems is coming to an end tomorrow. That means no multiplayer with people through the Web, no more leaderboard support, and no more user-generated content. This won’t affect the Wii Shop channel or the Nintendo DSi Shop, so you can still purchase and download digital games for those systems.
The end of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection comes as part of the imminent shutdown of the GameSpy online service, which is also seeing numerous publishers and developers beyond Nintendo shutting down online support for their games. Electronic Arts, for example, is ending support for 50 games including Battlefield 1942.
Nintendo says that the discontinuation of the Wi-Fi Connection will come sometime tomorrow, and it has a full list of affected games on its website.
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection made its debut in 2005 alongside Mario Kart DS, which was the first game in the series to enable online multiplayer. It is probably best known (infamously so) for requiring players to exchange 16-digit “friend codes” to play with one another.
With the release of the Wii U, Nintendo has replaced the Wi-Fi Connection service with the Nintendo Network, which also runs online play on 3DS.
Of course, with the end of online support, a handful of fans are celebrating by broadcasting games like Mario Kart Wii on the livestreaming site Twitch (which Google is reportedly buying for $1 billion).