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Nintendo recap — Pokémon Legends: Arceus has second-best sales in Japan's history and more NFT shenanigans

Pokemon Legends Arceus Monferno Shipyard
Pokemon Legends Arceus Monferno Shipyard (Image credit: iMore)

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another Nintendo recap! This week, Nintendo revealed its latest financial results, which showed the Switch has been selling "suprisingly" well. We also learned that Nintendo is interested in NFTs, which is gross, but the company isn't sure whether or not to persue them. In other news, not only has Pokémon Legends: Arceus met with mostly positive reviews from critics and players alike, but it's also selling incredibly well, too. There's even more to discuss, so let's-a go!

Switch officially becomes best-selling Nintendo console of all time

Nintendo Switch Boxes (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

The Nintendo Switch has certainly seen its share of success since it launched in 2017, but that was solidified this week when Nintendo shared its Q3 financial results. As of the last update, the Nintendo Switch has officially outsold the Wii, making it the best-selling Nintendo console of all time at over 103.54 million units sold.

Best-selling gaming systems of all time

SystemRelease DateUnits Sold (million)
1. PlayStation 22000155
2. Nintendo DS family2004154.02
3. Game Boy/Game Boy Color1989/1998118.69
4. PlayStation 42013116.9
5. Nintendo Switch2017103.54

The Switch still has a way to go before it challenges total handheld sales in regards to Game Boy or DS. However, Nintendo representatives have reminded us the Switch is only midway through its life cycle, so there's still time for it to advance even higher on this list.

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Analyst Daniel Ahmad on Twitter explained that the Switch is also the second-fastest selling gaming system of all time behind the DS family. We'll have to see if it is able to surpass PlayStation 4 sales given that Sony is still manufacturing those consoles. However, it's clear from latest sales that the Switch isn't going to slow down any time soon.

Nintendo says it has interest in metaverse and NFTs

Animal Crossing New Horizons Villagers

Animal Crossing New Horizons Villagers (Image credit: iMore)

As part of Nintendo's financial reportings, the gaming company also answered investor questions. During this time, Nintendo stated that it was interested in NFTs and the metaverse, but wasn't sure how these aspects would fit into Nintendo's plans. Analyst David Gibson on Twitter translated the question and answer:

Q) How think about metaverse and NFT?A) We do have interest in this area, we feel the potential in this area, but we wonder what joy we can provide in this area and this is difficult to define right now.

As I've said in previous Nintendo recaps, it's not surprising that companies are getting into NFTs. They can yield a high return with minimal effort put in. But they also give very little to consumers. Hopefully, Nintendo takes note of the negative responses other companies have received regarding their NFT projects and decides to stay away from them.

In regards to the metaverse, it's not surprising that it would be on Nintendo's mind. After all, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a simple metaverse that players can interact within and has been hugely successful over the last couple of years. Undoubtedly, the next Animal Crossing entry is at least in early planning, and could expand on New Horizons' mechanics just as the rest of the world is focusing in on the metaverse concept.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus selling incredibly well despite only having one game

Pokemon Legends Arceus Starters (Image credit: iMore)

Pokémon Legends: Arceus launched on Jan. 28 to positive critic and user reviews, and has been selling incredibly well. According to Famitsu, Pokémon Legends: Arceus had the second-best selling launch week numbers in Japan's history after Animal Crossing, with estimated domestic at around 1.4 million copies sold. That places it just barely above Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, which sold 1.396 million copies its opening week.

This success continues in the U.K., where it was reported by Christopher Dring, head of games at GamesIndustry.biz, that Legends: Arceus is the fourth-biggest Pokémon launch of all time.

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This is an mpressive feat when you consider that Pokémon RPGs have historically had two versions ever since the very first titles, Red and Blue, released in 1996. However, Legends: Arceus is the first Pokémon catching RPG that only had one version to sell and it has still sold incredibly well.

Sitting with a Metacritic score of 84 last I checked, Legends: Arceus is the second highest-rated Pokémon game of all time. Hopefully this shows Game Freak that it can continue to only sell one version of a game going forward and explore the open-world idea even further. If you haven't checked this new open-world Pokémon game out yet, you really ought to give it a try.

Kirby Super Star (Image credit: iMore)

Over this last weekend, Nintendo blocked 1,300 YouTube videos for using its copyrighted music. This sparked several debates regarding game and music preservation since many of these tracks can only legally be listened to by playing the original game on the gaming system they were created for. But that's not always the easiest thing to do, especially when retro games are rare and expensive to come by.

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Following these video removals, Twitter erupted in a slew of memes and posts making fun of Nintendo's deathgrip on music copyright violations. One Twitter user posted a screenshot of the Super Mario Sunshine soundtrack from Super Mario 3D All-Stars (seen above), sarcastically stating, "This is clearly how Nintendo wants us to listen to their music." He followed up with another tweet saying, "Don't worry. I forgot it exists as well, the joke being no one should be expected to rely on an in-game soundtrack in order to listen to Nintendo's catchy music.

Stealing copyrighted music is still wrong, but Nintendo should make its tracks accessible via legal means if it's going to go through the trouble of taking down YouTube videos.

Team17 announces NFT project and then cancels it

Overcooked (Image credit: Team17)

Lately we've been seeing several big publishers announce NFT projects only to cancel them shortly thereafter when met with consumer and internal criticism. The latest to fall into this marketing faux pas was Team17, the publisher behind popular games like Overcooked!, Moving Out, and Yooka-Laylee.

Team17 announced on Monday that it was going to release limited edition NFTs based on the Worms series, as reported by Gamesindustry.biz. This was met with huge backlash, not only by fans but by members of Team17 and developers who have worked with the gaming company. Most notably, Aggro Crab, the developer for Going Under, released a statement saying it would not be working with Team17 any more "unless this decision is reversed" noting that NFTs are not environmentally friendly and are just a "grift."

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Less than 24 hours later, Team17 responded, stating that "we have listend to our teamsters, development partners, and our games' communities, and the concerns they've expressed, and have therefore taken the decision to step back from the NFT space." This will not be the last gaming company to dip its toe into the murky NFT waters only to quickly withdraw when met with consumer frustration. As we discussed in a previous Nintendo recap, NFTs are an easy way for companies to make a lot of money for hardly doing anything, so of course big corporations will feel pressure from those at the top to engage with them.

Fortunately, we've already seen the good that speaking out against NFTs can do. Although some companies like Ubisoft tell us we "don't get" what NFTs are or in the case of Square Enix president tries to chip away at our gamer cards by implying that those who have reservations about NFTs are those that, god forbid, "play to have fun."

Games are meant to be enjoyed — period — whether you get more out of playing intensive games, more laid back games, or if you like a mix of the two. Attacking our pride or assuming we even care enough to have any is a strange way to bully consumers into accepting NFTs.

That's all this week

This year has a lot of excitement in store, so I'll be keeping my ear to the ground in search of any news regarding the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Bayonetta 3, or any of the other highly-anticipated games slated for this year.

I hope you enjoy your weekend and get to play some awesome games.

Until next time.

- Rebecca Spear

Rebecca Spear
Rebecca Spear

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.