Nintendo gaming recap: Switch financial reports and tons of Pokémon news

Pokemon Legends Arceus Player And Scyther
Pokemon Legends Arceus Player And Scyther (Image credit: iMore)

Hello hello, and welcome to this week's Nintendo gaming recap! The last few days have been bursting with Pokémon news as we learned that Pokémon HOME will be getting a long-anticipated update, a new Pokémon Unite fighter is coming next week, and Legends: Arceus has sold very well. In other news, Nintendo released its financial reports showing us how the Switch is doing five years into its lifespan. Additionally, there was both an Indie World showcase and a Monster Hunter Digital Event which gave us a look at upcoming games and paid DLC.

Nintendo Switch sets new record sales against PS4 and 3DS

Nintendo Switch Blue Placemat (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

This week, Nintendo revealed it's latest financial report, which showed that digital Switch game sales are on the rise while Switch console sales have decreased compared to this time last year. This decrease was to be expected due to semiconductor and chip shortages, which have made it harder for Nintendo to produce as many consoles.

Still, the Nintendo Switch has continued to prove itself a rolling stone five years after launch by hitting some new records in the U.S. Worldwide, the Switch has sold 107.65 million units as of March. As reported by VGChartz, the hybrid console has officially outsold the number of PlayStation 4 (PS4) consoles sold in the U.S. as well as Nintendo's own 3DS handheld sales in Japan.

Best-selling console sales worldwide

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ConsoleUnit sales (Millions)
PlayStation 2155
Nintendo DS family154.02
Game Boy & Game Boy Color118.69
PlayStation 4116.9
Nintendo Switch107.65

As of right now, the only systems that have sold more worldwide than the Switch are the PS4, Game Boy/Game Boy Color, Nintendo DS, and PlayStation 2. What's more, with the PS4 being at the end of its life cycle and the Switch reportedly only being in the middle, we can expect the sales gap between the two to continue narrowing. Given enough time left in the cycle and depending on the length of the chip shortage, the Switch could see itself much higher up this list.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus sold incredibly well in first two months

Pokemon Legends Arceus Starters (Image credit: iMore)

As part of the Nintendo financial report, we learned the latest worldwide sales of the best-selling Switch games. One of the most surprising announcements was that Pokémon Legends: Arceus had sold 12.64 million copies by March and that number has undoubtedly grown since. This makes it the 13th best-selling Switch game of all time as of this last reporting.

Best-selling Switch games worldwide

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Switch gameUnit sales (Millions)
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe45.33
Animal Crossing: New Horizons38.64
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate28.17
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild26.55
Pokémon Sword and Shield24.27
Super Mario Odyssey23.50
Super Mario Party17.78
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl14.65
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! / Eevee!14.53
Ring Fit Adventure14.09
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe13.31
Splatoon 213.30
Pokémon Legends: Arceus12.64
Luigi's Mansion 311.43
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury9.43

This is a great feat given that, unlike other Pokémon RPGs, this one only had one version instead of two. Historically, many players have ended up buying both Pokémon versions, which has allowed past generations to double-dip in sales. The fact that Arceus has been able to reach these high numbers as a solo title is truly impressive. If nothing else, it speaks to the interest fans have in changing up the Pokémon formula since Legends: Arceus provided so many new mechanics and did away with the gym system.

With such a good response, it will be interesting to see what the gameplay for Pokémon Violet and Scarlet is like. The Gen 9 games are set to release in late 2022 and will be the franchise's first open-world adventures. With any luck, the battle system will improve on the novel catching experience introduced in Legends: Arceus.

Pokemon Home Diagram Legends Arceus Bdsp Added Characters (Image credit: iMore)

Speaking of Pokémon games, on Thursday, The Pokémon Company revealed that Pokémon HOME will be getting a 2.0.0 update soon that will add the ability to connect with Pokémon Legends: Arceus as well as Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. No specific date was given, but it's likely this update will release within the next few weeks as we head into what is normally E3 season.

This, of course, means that there will be new trade opportunities for anyone that uses the storage and trading service. However, there will also be special rewards for anyone that links these Pokémon games. Linking Legends: Arceus to HOME nets you Rowlet, Cyndaquil, and Oshawott with maximum effort levels in the mobile version of Pokémon HOME. Similarly, anyone that links their Brilliant Diamond or Shining Pearl game will receive Turtwig, Chimchar, and Piplup with Hidden Abilities in the mobile version of Pokémon HOME.

It feels like this Pokémon HOME compatibility is a bit late in coming. After all, the update will come at least six months after Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl released and four months after Legends: Arceus. Still, the update will likely revitalize the life of these games, which could tide us over until Violet and Scarlet come out.

Espeon is coming to Pokémon Unite

Pokemon Unite Espeon (Image credit: TiMi Studio Group)

Hang tight because we're not done with Pokémon news just yet. We learned this week that the next character to be added to the Pokémon Unite roster will be none other than the Psychic-type Eeveelution, Espeon. This Ranged Attacker will come to the iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch versions of the game on May 16.

Indie Direct shows off 20 upcoming Switch games

On Wednesday, the latest Nintendo Indie World showcase ran for roughly 20 minutes and showed off indie games that will be coming to Switch in the near future. Many of the games had been shown in previous Indie Directs, but a few new ones stood out. First, there was Devolver Digital's Gunbrella, a noir story that incorporates a weaponized umbrella for unique platforming that will release sometime in 2023. Developer Aggro Crab also revealed a brand new soulslike that follows Kril the hermit crab as he travels the ocean searching for trash to use as new shells after his shell has been repossessed.

Additionally, we got another trailer for the beautiful We Are OFK, which follows a group of young adults as they live their lives and work to release their debut music. This fully-voiced narrative features a gorgeous art style and is slated to release this summer.

Going off of past years, we're bound to get a Nintendo Direct sometime in the next three months explaining some other games that are also on their way to the gaming system.

Nintendo currently has no plans with Summer Game Fest

Summer Game Fest Logo (Image credit: Summer Game Fest)

In lieu of E3 2022 being completely canceled, Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest is shaping up to be the big video game showcase this June. Many large companies have already made plans to showcase their projects during the event, or are holding their own. However, Nintendo is currently not slated to participate at all.

This is no reason to fret, though. We will undoubtedly get some kind of Nintendo Direct during the summer months considering that Nintendo has several large projects releasing this year with even more unknown projects yet to be announced. We'll keep our ear to the ground and will report when we hear more.

Monster Hunter Digital Event gives more insights on Malzeno and accessories

Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak Navirou (Image credit: Capcom)

On Tuesday, Capcom held its latest Monster Hunter Digital Event, which showed off new monsters, actions, and extras that will be made available with the paid Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak DLC. It was revealed that the DLC's flagship monster, the Elder Dragon Malzeno, was created with the nobility and cunningness of vampires in mind, which explains the ruined castle setting we often see it prowling around in trailers.

Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak Pro Controller (Image credit: iMore)

Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak Amiibo Unlock Armor (Image credit: Capcom)

Source: iMore and Capcom

In addition to a new hub location and new quests, players have the opportunity to purchase new accessories for this DLC. First off, there's the Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Edition Pro Controller, which features a Malzeno motif. When the Magnamalo Pro Controller released for Rise last year it was a very popular item and sold out quickly, so it's very likely the same will happen with the Malzeno controller. Going along with this theme, the upcoming Monster Hunter Rise amiibo will unlock Malzeno-themed armor when scanned, giving their Hunter, Palamute, or Palico vampirish armor. If you're interested in these Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak accessories, you'll want to pre-order them as soon as they become available.

Additionally, anyone with Monster Hunter Stories 2 save data can not only unlock exclusive Hunter armor but can unlock the Navirou Layered Armor for their Palico as well once the DLC releases on June 30, 2022. The DLC requires 1MB of space, which isn't a whole lot, but you'll still want to make sure you have enough room on your microSD card.

What are you playing this weekend?

This weekend, instead of simply playing one game, I'm helping my nephew get his own Nintendo Switch. As such, I'll be busy explaining all of the best Switch tips and tricks to him while allowing him to borrow some of my favorite games. There's going to be a lot of co-op time as we dig into Smash, Mario Party Superstars, and more.

I hope your weekend is relaxing and you're able to play whatever games you're thinking about most.

Until next time.

- Rebecca Spear

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.