Nintendo is about to kill off a tonne of Pokemon games

Nintendo is about to kill off a tonne of Pokemon games
The Pokemon Company

Written by 

Tom Chapman


15th Mar 2023 11:43

Death is knocking on Professor Oak's door, as the long-running Pokemon series is facing a cull of titles like we've never seen before. While we've been catching em' all for the past 27 years, Pokemon has largely moved on from its handheld heydey of exploring Kanto on the Game Boy.

Gaming purists still love the feel of booting up your old handheld and hearing the ping, but sadly, Nintendo has put another roadblock in our way. The imminent axing of the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShops is a nail in the coffin of the franchise's classic entries. 

We're about to lose a tonne of Pokemon games

Although we've known about the 3DS and Wii U shops closing for a while, the date has crept up on us quicker than expected. March 27 is the big day, however, some are only just realising the Pokemon series will be its biggest casualty. 

As shared on Twitter by Phil Salvador, Library Director at the Video Game History Foundation, (via Kotaku) has pointed out the loss of the 3DS digital library will be a big blow for the Pokeverse. Following the closure of the 3DS and Wii U eShops, 74% of Pokemon games released in the USA will be commercially unavailable. 

The likes of Pokemon Ruby & SapphireEmerald, and the OG Diamond & Pearl are already gone, but when the 3DS and Wii U are shown the door, Pokemon YellowPokemon Red & Blue, and Pokemon Crystal are among those that will be inaccessible. 

It's easy to forget it's not just X & Y and Sun & Moon being given the boot, with a miserable 26% of the 89 available Pokemon games being accessible in 2023. You're encouraged to download the Pokemon Bank app (for free) and transfer your Pocket Monsters so you can reunite with them in later entries.

Are classic Pokemon games coming to the Nintendo Switch?

Salvador's list shows that modern entires including Sword & ShieldArceus, and Scarlet & Violet are joined by rarities like Pokemon Stadium via the Nintendo Switch Online storefront. It's the end of an era because the 3DS bridged the gap between generations thanks to the Pokemon Bank and the Transporter apps.

Kotaku points out that original cartridges are prone to internal battery failure, meaning it's not as simple as fishing out an old copy and booting up Pokemon Yellow like in the good 'ol days. In general, it calls Nintendo's plans for preservation into question. 

Amidst questions about why Nintendo is cutting ties with the past of the Pokeverse, we've got our fingers crossed it's leading to the long-rumoured arrival of classic Pokemon games on the Nintendo Switch. The Game Boy library is sluggishly moving to NSO, but sadly, there's still no sign of Yellow's pixelated Pikachu.

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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