Nintendo isn't known for keeping their online services offline for long. They're usually fairly punctual with keeping to a time frame and following through. Well, ahead of the actual maintenance, Nintendo announced a date when it will take place and the time as well.
According to DualShockers the maintenance phase for the Nintendo 3DS' online services will start on January 9th, next week. It will run from 5PM PST up until 7PM PST. They mention that online leaderboards, online multiplayer and other online services for the portable handheld gaming device will be disabled. So if you were scheduling a competitive, online get-together, you might want to hold off until after maintenance takes place, or reschedule to host your event before maintenance takes place.
And yes, the maintenance will affect every game across the 3DS' library, from Pokemon Sun and Moon to lesser-known gems like The World Ends With You, and everything else in between. So keep that in mind if you decide to boot up your 3DS next Monday to play some games, either on the go or while you're at home.
They note in the DualShockers article that maintenance for the Nintendo Network on the Nintendo 3DS also took place during the busy holiday rush of December when everyone was buying up tons of games for Christmas or prepping to spend some much-needed downtime with loved ones during the new year's celebration.
They will actually have a notice over on the official Nintendo Network website where they will announce whether or not the network services are live or not. At the top of the page for the status of the Nintendo Network, they have a gray tab that says what the status is of the service, and if everything is a-okay it should say "Currently, all servers are operating normally". That line may change during the downtime when the 3DS network undergoes maintenance. Once it's complete it will likely pop back up showing that everything is operational again.
This is just a standard maintenance operation, so if you're expecting anything special or out of the ordinary to take place, it's not happening. I do wonder, of course, whether or not they will have any special updates for the Nintendo 3DS when March arrives and the Nintendo Switch is prepped to launch? While they've stated previously that the Switch won't affect the 3DS, it definitely makes you wonder if there will be some sort of inter-connectivity between the two devices at all? Of course, none of that information would be made available on the network maintenance page.
Instead, gamers will simply have to wait patiently as Nintendo rolls out new information on the Switch at their own discretion. However, the wait won't be that long given that shortly after the Nintendo 3DS will undergo network maintenance, Nintendo will announce new details for the Switch on January 12th.
The company is expected to reveal the official launch titles for the new system along with a final release date and price. So there's plenty of good news to look forward to, and this all happens after Nintendo fixes up the network and does a little bit of under-the-hood work on the Nintendo 3DS' online services.