75% of the Pokemon back catalogue will be unavailable commercially once Nintendo closes the 3DS an Wii U eShops.
This figure comes from Phil Salvador of Video Game History Foundation, who tweeted a graph that demonstrates what percentage of Pokemon games will be available to purchase from Nintendo once the 3DS and Wii U eShops close down for good this month. As you can see from the tweet below, only 25% (soon to be 26%) of Pokemon games will be available to purchase in any form from March 27.
Here's the data if you want to see it! Game list is taken from Bulbapedia. Quick correction to the graph, there's 88 games here, not 89 pic.twitter.com/u1kIhfqJ1DFebruary 27, 2023
If you're wondering, the games included in this 26% are all playable on the Nintendo Switch, so that includes Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Pokemon Sword and Sheild, and so on. It also includes those available through Nintendo's virtual consoles so Pokemon Stadium 1 and 2 via the Nintendo 64 emulator, and soon, the Pokemon Trading Card Game on the GameBoy emulator.
As for the games we'll be losing, according to Salvador's graph, it'll soon be much trickier to find the likes of Pokemon Red and Blue, Pokemon Yellow, Pokemon Gold and Silver, Pokemon X and Y, Pokemon Sun and Moon, Detective Pikachu, a bunch of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games, and many more.
This has understandably got to be disappointing news for long-time Pokemon fans who may soon not be able to play some of their favorite games in the series. There's always a hope that Nintendo will bring more Pokemon games to the Nintendo Switch via Nintendo Switch Online, but since there isn't a DS, 3DS, or Wii virtual console just yet, we may have to wait a while before we get to revisit classic Pokemon games.
With Nintendo closing 3DS and Wii U digital stores, where does that leave video game preservation?