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Pokemon Games Dominate 3DS Digital Charts After eShop Shutdown Announcement

The ongoing effort to catch 'em all may explain why several of the top ten spots are all Pokemon games.


The 3DS and Wii U eShops are shutting down next year, giving users a firm deadline to making new purchases on those platforms. This has unsurprisingly led to a flurry of new purchases as players grab games while they can, and the top sellers have a surprising number of older, emulated Pokemon games from the Game Boy and Game Boy Color era.

The current best-sellers in the US charts include Pokemon Yellow, Pokemon Crystal, and Pokemon Red. GVG's Jon Cartwright notes the UK charts also include Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Blue in the top ten. That's a lot of Pokemon in the top 10, and notably, none of them are the native 3DS Pokemon games Sun and Moon. So what gives?

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It seems that the key comes down to these emulated Game Boy and Game Boy Color games supporting Pokemon Bank through the 3DS. Since there is no way to transfer your monsters from GB or GBC to the Game Boy Advance, the chain of progression gets broken there and you can't keep importing them to the modern era. But if you go back and play these 3DS emulated versions, you can use Pokemon Bank and then keep your monsters with you in modern Pokemon games. That may be necessary for completing your Pokedex, or just hanging onto shinies or other special Pokemon from the older generations.

Holding onto legacy Pokemon has been a big focus for longtime fans of the series, and led to some controversy when Nintendo and Game Freak announced that Pokemon Sword and Shield would not include the full national dex. Nintendo no longer supports Pokemon Bank, instead focusing its storage efforts on the subscription-based Pokemon Home. That can store all your Pokemon across generations and should remain forward-compatible into future Pokemon games--all reliant on which ones are included in such a game's dex, of course.

The 3DS eShop will close in March 2023, but May 23, 2022 is the cutoff for using credit cards to add funds, and then August 29, 2022 is the cutoff to add funds using an eShop card. You'll still be able to use funds in your Nintendo Account wallet if you have it linked to your old Nintendo Network ID, however. If you're looking for more recommendations before the shops close, check out the 3DS and Wii U games you should buy.

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