Anyone who has patiently awaited more news for the highly anticipated Breath of the Wild 2 will be happy to know that Nintendo filed patents that give us more insight into Link's new movesets and mechanics. Additionally, a new teaser for the upcoming Pokémon Legends: Arceus released, but instead of answering questions, it left us with a lot more. Also, this week we learned that Nintendo Switch was by far the best-selling console in 2021, but those numbers might be skewed due to console shortages. There's even more to discuss, so let's make like Link and dive in!
Zelda Breath of the Wild 2 patents explain Link's new moves
As reported by GameReactor, Nintendo recently filed three patents with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that center around Link's controls in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel. Technically, we've already seen these mechanics at play in the latest E3 2021 teaser trailer, but the patents give us a better understanding for how they work. These patents cover the following abilities:
- Moving through solid objects with patent US20210370175: We saw this in the trailer when Link went through a stone platform using some kind of glowing green power. The most important part of this patent is that it tells us Link can pass through walls whenever he wants to as long as certain conditions are met rather than needing to do it at specific predetermined points. This will make for even more open exploration.
- "Rewind" with patent US20210370178: Link can make items move back the way they previously moved forward. We saw this in the trailer when he made the spiked ball move backward and hit Bokoblins. The Zelda community is referring to this ability as "Rewind."
- "Free fall" shooting with patent US20210370179: Link already had the ability to take shots with his arrow while free falling in the first game, but it looks like these mechanics will be far more evolved in the sequel with specific action commands available to players.
All in all, it looks like these mechanics are going to work together to give us a very different kind of experience from the first game, filled with new exploration possibilities and battle mechanics, and I'm excited for it. Now, Nintendo told us it was aiming for a 2022 release with the Breath of the Wild sequel, but we'll need to get some kind of confirmation in the next few months to let us know if these plans are still feasible.
Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console in 2021, but console shortages lowered numbers
The NPD November 2021 results for video games released this week, showing Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl as the number one Nintendo Switch seller followed by Mario Party Superstars, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Shin Megami Tensei V, and Minecraft. It's worth remembering that November sales tend to revolve around the best deals rather than the best Nintendo Switch games.
- Call of Duty: Vanguard
- Battlefield 2042
- Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl*
- Forza Horizon 5
- Madden NFL 22
- Mario Party Superstars*
- Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
- FIFA 22
- Far Cry 6
- NBA 2K22*
- Just Dance 2022
- Mario Kart 8*
- Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
- Back 4 Blood
- Shin Megamai Tensei V
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
- Ghost of Tsushima
*Digital sales not included
Black Friday and holiday shopping also proved to be in Nintendo's favor. According to the company, the Nintendo Switch was the best-selling gaming console in November with the combined sales of the Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite, and Switch OLED reaching more than 1.13 million units sold, 550,000 of which sold during the week of Thanksgiving. What's more, the Switch has been the best-selling gaming console for 35 of the last 36 months, only toppling from its throne in September right before the Switch OLED released, which probably only happened because buyers were waiting for the updated system to reach store shelves.
If you want to know how bad the supply situation is:
- The Switch sold less than November last year
- PS5 + Xbox barely = what Switch sold in total
- The PS4, XB1 and Wii U (yes Wii U) sold more in Nov 2014 than Switch + PS5 + Xbox Series in Nov 2021. https://t.co/pX6rpKb8NkIf you want to know how bad the supply situation is:
- The Switch sold less than November last year
- PS5 + Xbox barely = what Switch sold in total
- The PS4, XB1 and Wii U (yes Wii U) sold more in Nov 2014 than Switch + PS5 + Xbox Series in Nov 2021. https://t.co/pX6rpKb8Nk— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) December 13, 2021December 13, 2021
Believe it or not, these sales numbers are down from last year even though, as explained by games industry analyst Daniel Ahmad on Twitter, the combined sales of PS5 and Xbox are about the same as Switch sales this year. For some perspective, the combined 2014 sales of PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U were larger than the combined sales of the Switch, PS5, and Xbox Series this year. Part of the problem is low supply due to chip shortages, so while Nintendo has the highest sales this year it's hard to say how well it would fair against Xbox and PlayStation if stock wasn't scarce.
If you want to get a Switch for the holidays and still haven't managed to do so, I recommend using Stock Informer to alert you when online stores get inventory. You'll need to act immediately and jump on a purchase in order to grab one.
Indie World Showcase
Wednesday morning we got the last Nintendo Indie World showcase of the year, which revealed several upcoming indie games. Some of the titles that interested us on the iMore gaming team the most were:
- Endling: Extinction is Forever — Play as a mother fox attempting to help her three kits survive in a post-apocalpytic world. The choices you make and how you play determine how many of her babies make it to the end.
- Loco Motive — An Agatha Christie-style murder mystery takes place on a train in this point-and-click adventure created by Robust Games and produced by Chucklefish. The art looks amazing and the characters seem incredibly silly.
- Sea of Stars — This goregeous pixelated RPG is made by the same team that created The Messenger. Explore a colorful world, grow your party, and fight enemies.
- River City Girls 2 — We're finally getting a sequel to the original fighting game. Each character fights differently and you can play with a friend online with 2-player co-op.
There will be even more games coming to Nintendo Switch in the near future and we'll be sure to report on them in every Nintendo Direct and Indie World showcase for 2022.
New Pokémon Legends: Arceus teaser leaves us with more questions
Nintendo released a new short video showing off Pokémon Legends: Arceus clips that featured the Diamond Clan lead by Adaman, the Pearl Clan lead by Irida, and Ginko Guild merchants. Honestly, instead of giving us more insights into the games, this just leaves us with more questions. For instance, does save data from Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl somehow play into your interactions with the Diamond Clan or the Pearl Clan characters? How necessary is purchasing from merchants to beating this game? And how exactly does Arceus play into all of this?
Fortunately, we don't have much longer to wait before we get to experience the adventure ourselves since the game launches on Jan. 28, 2022.
Live-Action Mega Man movie coming to Netflix
We've been getting an awful lot of video game movies and TV shows recently. Some of them have been amazing, like the League of Legends-inspired Arcane and Sonic the Hedgehog. However, most of them have been big teeth-clenching embarrassments. So it's really hard to know whether or not to get excited when another one gets revealed, like when Nintendo announced its Mario movie cast in September starring Chris Pratt.
Now, it appears one of Capcom's most loved series is about to try its luck with a Mega Man movie produced by Chernin Entertainment. The thing is, this will be a live-action production and while it's still in early production, it's hard to imagine a real-world Mega Man movie being successful. After all, a huge part of its appeal is its cartoony art style. We've been surprised before, though, so we'll have to wait and see how this goes.
Game Boy hype and the Analogue Pocket
Even though the Game Boy came out roughly 33 years ago, interest in new games and copycats has been on the rise in recent years. Projects like The Shapeshifter 2 campaign on Indiegogo and Incube8 Games' D*Fuzed for Game Boy Color have gained a lot of traction this year.
But one of the most anticipated gaming purchases has been for the Analogue Pocket, a portable handheld in the same general shape and design of the Game Boy, but with a full-color LCD display and connections for various emulator syncing. Just slip a Game Boy or Game Boy Color game into the slot or connect it to your computer and you're good to play.
Pocket will be available to purchase on December 14th at 8am PST. It is our goal for everyone who wants a Pocket to be able secure an order.
To accomplish this in the context of a global pandemic, we are implementing a fulfillment protocol. pic.twitter.com/jHukRh0R2IPocket will be available to purchase on December 14th at 8am PST. It is our goal for everyone who wants a Pocket to be able secure an order.
To accomplish this in the context of a global pandemic, we are implementing a fulfillment protocol. pic.twitter.com/jHukRh0R2I— Analogue (@analogue) December 10, 2021December 10, 2021
The Analogue Pocket sells for $220 and is currently available for preorders as of Dec. 14. Analogue is also offering a number of accessories such as a hard case, tempered glass screen protector, and adapters to make it easier to play various game cartridges. Overall, it's a very exciting buy and something that might appeal to nostalgic Nintendo fans or old-school gamers.
2019 leak predicted Sonic Frontiers and alludes to Super Mario Odyssey 2?
This week, Reddit user Kos-MosZE, posted links to 4Chan thread from 2019 where an anonymous poster explained the plot for an upcoming Sonic game that takes place in the "Starfall Islands." It looks like this was in reference to the recently announced Sonic Frontiers.
But that's not all. The leaker also went on to describe a sequel for Super Mario Odyssey, explaining that it will have 20 locations to explore and will include Luigi, Yoshi, and co-op play.
It obviously makes sense that Nintendo is working on a Super Mario Odyssey sequel considering how well it sold and how well it was received by reviewers. However, it's hard to say whether or not this specific leak is real. It could be that the Sonic information just sounded similar to Sonic Frontiers.
That's all folks
That's all of the Nintendo news for the week. I'm spending this weekend playing Paper Mario and reliving my youth through the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack's N64 emulator. Regardless of what you're playing or what console you're playing on, I hope you have a fabulous weekend yourself.
Until next time.
- Rebecca Spear
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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.