Nintendo to close eShop temporarily due to high traffic, merger woes

Nintendo is experiencing some serious hiccups in its newly unified eShop platform, and the system is scheduled to go offline for 12 hours starting at 4pm EST/1pm PT, according to The Next Web.

The announcement was tweeted by the Nintendo UK account, and is the first mention that the eShop will be taken down to remedy issues. The eShop will be down for all Nintendo users, according to an official statement Nintendo sent to Gigaom via email:

Due to a high volume of traffic on the Nintendo Network service, users may be having trouble setting up Nintendo Network IDs and downloading content in the Nintendo eShop on both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. 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. and 4 a.m. ET. Please be aware that during this time period, you will be unable to transfer data between different Nintendo 3DS hardware, as well as being unable to download update data for your Nintendo 3DS software. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your continued patience.

eShop troubles have been happening all over the world, as users struggled to download games and create new Nintendo Network IDs on both the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS after Christmas:

I’ve experienced the outage first-hand, after deciding to cash in some well-earned Club Nintendo points for a copy of Mario’s Picross. It took no less than ten attempts to connect to the eShop, input the download code for the game (as I purchased it online) and finally downloaded the game onto my 3DS — often, it dumped out while loading a new screen, citing a random error code and suggesting help from Nintendo Support. It’s a mess.

But the eShop outage has already done more than caused plenty of tension-related migraines — it has also delayed the launch of Pokemon Bank and Pokemon Transporter, a subscription-based service that enables Pokemon players to store up to 3,000 pokemon, and transfer pokemon from previous games into the latest generation, Pokemon X/Y. The service has a launch date of today, with Nintendo citing “a large volume of traffic to the Nintendo Network service.”

It’s quite a blow to the company, perhaps at the worst possible time. With an influx of new gamers eager to get set up their new consoles, the eShop has thrown a wrench into what normally is a seamless platform — chalk it up to Nintendo merging platforms so soon before the expected Christmas rush. But it’s highly likely that users will become more frustrated if the eShop is taken offline worldwide — not creating the best environment for Nintendo to endear itself to its newest users.

Update: Nintendo of America has responded with a more detailed announcement, indicating the eShop outage will be global.