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Nintendo recap: Switch sales are down but Pokémon Scarlet and Violet's new additions have us fired up

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Paldean Wooper, Cetitan, and Fidough
(Image credit: iMore)

Hello Nintendo fans, and welcome to the latest recap. This was a rather busy week for Nintendo. First, we had a Pokémon Presents that explained upcoming events for multiple Pokémon games and also gave us greater insight into Scarlet and Violet. In other news, Nintendo's latest financial report revealed some surprising information. We also finally learned when the highly-anticipated Minecraft amiibo will be releasing. There's more to discuss, so let's dive in. 

Pokémon Presents shows off new Pokémon, rideable Legendaries, and more

The latest Pokémon Presents took place Wednesday morning and announced several updates for various Pokémon titles across different platforms. After talking about the Pokémon Unite's one-year anniversary and the return of Mewtwo in Pokémon Cafe Remix, the presentation ended with a focus on what everyone really wanted to hear about — Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

We finally saw that the Legendary Pokémon — Koraidon (Scarlet) and Moraidon (Violet) — operate as vehicles that can wheel you across the land, climb up cliffs, swim in the water, or fly through the air. The presentation even showed that players can ride next to each other in multiplayer and explore the world as they defeat gyms in whatever order they want. 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Two new Pokémon, as well as a new regional variant, were also revealed, with one of them stealing the hearts of the online community. There's Paldean Wooper, a Poison/Ground-Type variant; Cetitan, an Ice-type land whale; and Fidough, the goodest wittle donut dog anyone could ask for. It only took minutes for Twitter to erupt in a shower of Fidough fan art

While it was nice to see new faces, we got no official number for how many Pokémon would be in the Gen 9 Pokédex. However, many familiar Pokémon were shown off in the video, which doubled the number of all confirmed Pokémon we know will show up in the game. 

Pokémon Scarlet Violet Sprigatito Tera type

(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The main gimmick for Gen 9 was also revealed. The Terastal phenomenon allows Pokémon to shine like gems with ridiculously large glittering crowns on their heads. As @Olivart_ on Twitter illustrated in their meme, imagine a Ring Pop on a Pokémon's dome and you've basically got the idea. 

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When transformed, Terastallizing makes Pokémon moves stronger and sometimes even changes their types. Pokémon with rare Tera types are more likely to show up in Tera Raid Battles, which are like an improved version of Sword and Shield's Max Raid Battles. You can still battle special Tera Pokémon with other players, but you don't have to wait your turn to attack or heal, which was a frustration many player felt with Max Raid Battles. Once the Tera Pokémon is defeated, you'll get a chance to catch it.

Nintendo's official site states Scarlet and Violet each have a file size of 10GB, which is larger than Pokémon Legends: Arceus' 6.1GB, but less than Sword and Shield's 12.4GB. It's hard to say why it's significantly smaller than Gen 8 at this time, but it could have something to do with the more open-world nature of the game rather than needing to code specific linear data. At any rate, make sure you have enough room on your microSD card before the game's release. 

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Pokémon Scarlet

Explore the first-ever open-world Pokémon game on your own or with friends. The Scarlet version offers exclusive Pokémon like the Legendary Koraidon.

Preorder from: Amazon (opens in new tab) | Best Buy (opens in new tab) 

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Pokémon Violet

See what the first open-world Pokémon game has to offer. The Violet version has exclusive creatures to capture, like the Legendary Miraidon.

Preorder from: Amazon (opens in new tab) | Best Buy (opens in new tab) | Walmart (opens in new tab)

Nintendo financial report shows that more players are going digital

As NPD recently reported, sales are down across the video game industry now that the pandemic influx has calmed down, and not even Nintendo could avoid it. 

According to data from the latest Nintendo financial report, which was released on Wednesday, Switch hardware is down 22.9% over the last year, while software is down 8.6%. This is to be expected as the last couple of years were unprecedentedly high as people sought forms of entertainment within their homes, prompting them to purchase more consoles and games than usual. Plus, the semiconductor shortage has been making it harder for companies to produce consoles.

Despite all of these decreased sales numbers from last year, the Switch continues to be the top-selling console this year in terms of units sold and is now Nintendo's best-selling home console ever at over 111.08 million sales.

PlatformYearUnits sold
PlayStation 2 2000155 million
Nintendo DS2004154.02 million
Game Boy & Game Boy Color1989, 1998118.69 million
PlayStation 42013117.2 million
Nintendo Switch2017111.08 million

The report also showed which Switch games sold over a million units this last quarter. Nintendo Switch Sports takes the lead at 4.84 million units sold, followed by Mario Strikers: Battle League at 1.91 million units, Kirby and the Forgotten Land at 1.88 million units, and the undefeated cash cow Mario Kart 8 Deluxe at 1.48 million units. The last of which is still the best-selling Switch title with over 46.82 million units sold over its lifetime.

We also saw an interesting shift with the latest report. There's long been a debate about buying physical vs digital versions of games. Nintendo reported that there were more digital sales this last quarter than physical ones, with digital downloads making up 53% of the total. As we move on into the future, we will likely see digital numbers continuing to rise.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass Wave 2 available to play

On Friday, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — Booster Course Pass Wave 2 released for anybody with a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription or who had purchased the DLC separately. This second wave brings with it eight new courses divided into two Cups. 

Arguably, the most exciting new track is Waluigi Pinball, a fan favorite that originally comes from Mario Kart DS. However, Wave 2 also brought us a never-before-seen track called Sky-High Sundae, which will eventually make its way into Mario Kart Tour. Up until now, we weren't sure if Nintendo would be making any brand new tracks for the DLC. That means we might get more surprises down the road.

Steve & Alex Minecraft amiibo finally given release date

Steve and Alex amiibo for Nitnendo's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

(Image credit: iMore)

After a long delay, Nintendo finally announced that the Steve & Alex Super Smash Bros. amiibo are releasing Sept. 9, 2022. That's only about a month away! If you like to train up your Super Smash Bros. Ultimate amiibo, then this will be a good buy for you. 

Even if you don't particularly like playing fighting games but are a Minecraft fan, these figures look really nice and will look great displayed on a shelf. They're currently available for preorder.

What Switch games to play this week 

As we previously discussed, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — Booster Course Pass Wave 2 released on Friday, bringing two new cups with four courses apiece to the game. Have fun racing around these new tracks and check out the brand new dessert-themed one. 

If you're looking for something meatier, I highly recommend Xenoblade Chronicles 3. In my review, I talked about how expansive the world is and how moving the characters' personal journeys are. Plus, it's a great bang for your buck as many people say it takes over 100 hours to beat. 

Until next time.

- Rebecca Spear