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Friday, August 5, 2022

June 30, 2022 Nintendo Quarterly Financial Update

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Finally! Negative numbers!

Just to be clear, I'm not rooting for Nintendo to have a worse performance than before. But at least it's something new to talk about, and it finally disproves the idea that this company can just infinitely grow.

How bad are we talking? 4.7% reduction in net sales compared to the June 30, 2021 update. ...Now, to be fair, the June 30, 2021 update itself had even more negative numbers than this one. But that's because June 2021 was comparing to June 2020, which means it was comparing to Animal Crossing: New Horizons being a cultural icon at the start of the Chinese Communist Party Virus pandemic. That's a tough compare. But the reason 2022 is lower than 2021 is because of “the global shortage of semiconductor components, resulting in a decrease in hardware shipments and subsequent decline in overall sales.” While Nintendo didn't outright say this, I think it's implied that if there wasn't a semiconductor shortage, then Nintendo Switch demand would still be quite robust and high. (And, you know, not necessitating a major new 4K-based hardware revision.)

Nintendo isn't changing their FY23 (or fiscal year that ends March 2023) forecast, since they acknowledged that semiconductors would be in short supply when devising it. Nintendo only shipped 3.43 million Switch family systems (1.32 million normal Switch, 1.52 million (OLED model) Switch systems, and a paltry 0.59 million Switch Lite handhelds) from April 1 to July 30 2022. This is the second time that the Nintendo Switch (OLED model) has outsold the normal Nintendo Switch in a quarter—it was 1.81 OLED versus 1.77 regular in the last quarter of last fiscal year (or January 1 to March 31 2022). I wonder how much of that 1.81 number would be added to the 1.77 number if the (OLED model) didn't exist. (Reminder that Nintendo says the (OLED model) has a lower profit margin compared to the other Switch models.)

How about some software?

Nintendo Switch software game sells graph June 30 2022 Mario Strikers Battle League Sports Ring Fit Adventure
I had to chop off some of the games from appearing on this chart, or else the new titles wouldn't appear.
Ring Fit Adventure is still the 10th best selling Switch game.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Games Media Now Says Nintendo Will NOT Reveal a Nintendo Switch Hardware Revision in 2022

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Eight months late, but, hey, glad they're on board.

I think I'm becoming known as a gaming media critic with regards to their perpetual FAKE NEWS about an alleged Nintendo Switch hardware revision. Our whole series of articles throughout 2021 was determined to be the Best KoopaTV Article Series of 2021. And as recently as last month, I roasted the likes of GameXplain for clickbaiting about an “imminent” “Switch Pro reveal”. (There was an imminent reveal... but for a Splatoon 3-themed Nintendo Switch (OLED model) instead of a whole hardware revision.)

However, in the interest of being FAIR AND BALANCED, I figured I should also report on mainstream gaming media sites—including ones I distrust—saying that there WON'T be a new Nintendo Switch hardware revision (or new Nintendo system) in 2022 (or the first three months of 2023). Now, since they're FAKE NEWS, you could say that this means that there really will be a new hardware revision... or maybe it's a “broken clock is right twice a day” scenario. But as a result of comments made by Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa to Japanese business news outlet Nikkei (which has its actual article paywalled and in, you know, Japanese—so I can't verify this), Nintendo is too busy with production on their current Switch models (hampered by semiconductor shortages) to have the capacity to manufacture a new product line anyway.

Furukawa was quoted (and translated) by these outlets as saying, “Normally, we stockpile inventory in the summer to prepare for the year-end sales season, which is at its peak. This summer, we are not able to produce as many as usual.” I've always thought that it's a logic leap beyond clueless and business-illiterate media personalities and “journalists” to go from “we don't have the inventory we need for our existing product lines” to “there is just no way we can make a new Switch hardware revision with 4K and all that other stuff you think will be there”. MAYBE THEY'RE LEARNING. At least this SHOULD mean that we're safe from these idiotic rumours for another eight months or so, especially since the media moves in lock-step. Here's a media montage:

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Pokémon Presents August 3, 2022 Reaction


This morning, The Pokémon Company put on a new Pokémon Presents, with updates on Pokémon apps and video games, including Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet. Of course, I didn't watch it live. I wasn't able to. But most people who watch it didn't watch it live. And what matters is that I wasn't spoiled on the contents of the presentation before watching it, which means that it didn't make any impact to how I reacted. It's like... time was frozen!

But because of the unscheduled and uncoordinated viewing, you'll only get to read my live reactions. I hope that's fine with y'all.

[5:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa:
[5:01 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Chris Brown of The Pokémon Company International giving updates on the Pokémon World Championships in London.
[5:01 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: The stock footage features 3DSs still.
[5:02 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: ...and there's a Pikachu trophy.
[5:03 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Ultra Beasts are gonna ruin Pokémon GO Fest 2022.
[5:03 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Literal alien invasion at the end of August.
[5:05 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Pokémon UNITE anniversary segment, which is a China invasion of your Switch.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

w00t! I got a Nintendo Switch Icon Element!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm happy, and no one can take that away from me. (...Right?)

You may remember two weeks ago I wrote an article complaining about how my brothers got Nintendo Switch icon elementsthe Switch's most exciting new feature of 2022—from the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe set (exclusive to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers) but I did not get any such icon elements. (Neither did my sister, Wendy.)

As of last night, Nintendo listened to and directly addressed my complaints and has now implemented a brand-new Mario Kart 8 Deluxe set of five icon element waves to go on until September 5. Nintendo is saying that this is to promote the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass DLC, but it's not a separate set from the first set of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe icon elements featuring the other Koopalings. One of the annoying things about icon elements is that you cannot mix and match them between different series—you can't use a background from Kirby and the Forgotten Land with a character image from Xenoblade Chronicles 3. But this new set of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe icons is compatible with the old set with the other Koopalings (and several other characters).

Anyway, to my utter joy, wave 1 of this August set has an icon element of... me! Yeah, it's not a whole scene like Morton's, Iggy's, or Roy's, but I think that's better in terms of fitting with a background.

Nintendo Switch Online icon elements Mario Kart 8 Deluxe booster pass wave 1 Ludwig Von Koopa August 2022
Look! It's me!
Plus a generic Koopa shell, which is good for letting people know I'm taking a nap.
...And the Eiffel Tower as a background photo.
(Maybe I need to increase the brightness on my camera.)

This probably means that I'm going to be all set in terms of my Nintendo Switch profile picture's design. The background or frame might end up changing, or maybe I might get a SECOND icon element (hey, Link and Mario have a bunch). But I'm content with this feature. ...I'm sure Wendy O. Koopa will get an icon element within this month as well! Right?!

Nintendo Switch custom icon profile Ludwig Von Koopa Koopa#5969
Ludwig likes purple and King Bowser's Castle,
but maybe a more visible background image might be better if it becomes available. (Not the Eiffel Tower.)
And maybe he might want to use a more fancy non-solid-colour frame if there's a good one for download.

I'm just hoping that we get to keep these icons and Nintendo won't take them away for whatever reason. (According to Nintendo, even if your Nintendo Switch Online membership expires, you will still be able to keep the icons.) I worked hard to make this happen. The life lesson here is that sometimes, when you ask for something of a multinational corporation, you actually can get that something. So don't be afraid to share your thoughts!

What's your number one dream icon element? Let KoopaTV know in the comments section below! ...And if you see that image above and decide you are going to send Ludwig a friend request, you should let him know you're doing that in the comments section, because he probably has to delete someone else from his friend list to make room for you, given that he's at the Switch's cap on the number of friends. Unsolicited requests aren't welcome requests.

Monday, August 1, 2022

KoopaTV's July 2022 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Stay inside and read KoopaTV!

Unless you're in the southern part of Earth (or not on Earth at all), you've probably been experiencing some very hot temperatures. KoopaTV's staff recommends that you stay inside from the heat and humidity, drink water, and keep yourself entertained with KoopaTV-published content. ...And I guess play some videogames.

Every KoopaTV month, in terms of absolute value, is great and better than what you'd see from our non-existent comparable competitors. We've been doing this for over nine years now, and I still haven't found anyone like us. ...But if they are out there, I wonder if they know about KoopaTV? Well, the important part is that YOU know about KoopaTV, and even if you're in a relatively mediocre month like July, it's still better than basically anything else.

Upcoming Vacation for a Week in August

I know that me taking a vacation is very very rare, but that's what I'll be doing next week, so no articles (or responding to comments or social media) the week of August 8. ...I'm not telling y'all where I'll be, since I don't want to see you. Please understand. I'll respond to everything when I'm back!

Top Five Recommended Experiences of July 2022

I said July 2022 was a relatively mediocre month on KoopaTV. But are you really able to tell that with these five highlighted articles, listed in chronological order?
  1. Took Me Over 21 Years to Learn Zero Wing's Voice-Acting is Fan-Made — This is the closest I got to subscribing to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack since they announced its existence. But then I learned a dark truth...
  2. Dynamo Pictures Acquired; to be Nintendo Pictures — You might think this isn't an important story, and we don't know if it is yet, but did you know that Dynamo Pictures made an Ace Attorney Virtual Reality game? (Did you know that VR game existed?)
  3. LEGO Super Mario: Character Pack 5, Iggy Koopa, and THE MIGHTY BOWSER — Oh, hey, the first two of these come out today. THE MIGHTY BOWSER comes out in two months. Anyway, I wrote about Koopa-filled LEGO stuff. Was nice.
  4. LIVE A LIVE Relives on the Nintendo Switch; Out Now — I feel a special obligation towards LIVE A LIVE since it was the subject of a KoopaTV guest article a year ago, so I played its demo and gave my thoughts.
  5. How did the Russian newspaper get on the SS Burya on Jan 9, 189X? — Fantastic article on what I believe to be a plothole in the second case of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. I thoroughly use in-game evidence to prove my point.

That last article about the newspaper is easily the best article of the month. ...But you should really play The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles before you go and read it. Fortunately, that's an excellent idea even if you don't intend to read that article.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Content-packed epic Xenoblade Chronicles 3 available now

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The Xenoblade fan is busy playing for 10 hours or more in the span of one day to write this, so you get me.

I asked Heavy Lobster earlier this week if it would like to write something to be published today for Xenoblade Chronicles 3, since it published a puff piece article for Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. Heavy Lobster said it wasn't opposed, but that it'd rather be playing the game than writing about it. And that's why I asked earlier... you know, to pre-write. It didn't happen, and as of my Nintendo Switch friend list's Trending tab, Heavy Lobster has played 10 or more hours of the game even though it's only been out for 22 hours or so. At least it recharged its batteries? But I haven't seen it around.

I did get Heavy Lobster to tell me that Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is potentially the “Greatest Game of All Time” and that it's going to correct any issues it could have had with the first two Xenoblade Chronicles games. Heavy Lobster is into the “darker and grittier feel” that's reminiscent of Xenogears, and the darker tone should set up nicely for “maximum emotional impact.” At least Heavy Lobster is no longer shocked into silence as it was back in the February 2022 Nintendo Direct when Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was announced.

I asked a totally unrelated person who I haven't talked to since 2018 about Xenoblade Chronicles 3, since they are on my friends list, and they basically said the same thing regarding the darker tone being like MONOLITHSOFT's older games and that the gameplay is complex but incredible. I think Xenoblade Chronicles fans, at least the ones I've interacted with, have a kind of hivemind-ish thought process that also makes them out to feel like a persecuted victim class. In a “Nintendo doesn't love us!” sense. But I guess the games they love really are that great? Here's an overview trailer:

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Investigate with Lord Winklebottom—starting today!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Took years, but it's available now.

Back in 2019, KoopaTV reader ShinyGirafarig wrote a guest post asking everyone to support Lord Winklebottom Investigates, an adventure starring the great British giraffe detective Winklebottom and his hippo sidekick, Dr Frumple.

Lord Winklebottom Investigates has been through a journey of a development history with two crowd-funded attempts (the first one didn't work out) by developer Cave Monsters (founded by Charlotte Sutherland) and years of waiting. Nintendo Life, in the article ShinyGirafarig recommended people look at, once said it'd release in mid-2020. In reality, the game entered Alpha stage in June 2021, and was deemed officially complete by March 2022. It's taken quite some time for console certification, but it's now released on the Switch, Xbox One and Series, and Steam for $19.

I have no idea if the game is actually good (ShinyGirafarig is playing it right now), but giraffes are fine and adventure games are a genre we like. Heck, just yesterday I wrote about an adventure game featuring another great British detective, Herlock Sholmes, who predates Lord Winklebottom by about thirty years. But he was involved in bending time and space in that incident by impossibly getting a morning edition of a newspaper on a ship already in the seas as of that morning reporting on events that happened at midnight. Perhaps that space and time distortion in the 1890s is what allowed for Detective Winklebottom's existence. You know, talking giraffes and such. Voice-acted, too.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

How did the Russian newspaper get on the SS Burya on Jan 9, 189X?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - It's the biggest plot hole. Or... is it possible, somehow?

Since I played through The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles one year ago now, there's been a few questions on my mind. The first question that popped up, and which never got answered, is about the January 9, 189X (we don't know the exact year) morning Russian newspaper on the SS Burya. How did it get there?

(I have other questions, too, but they're farther along and are actually much more relevant to the plot of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. ...Warning that the rest of this article covers the second case of the game, The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band, in some level of detail. Which isn't that much of a spoiler but it's something.)

If YOU want to play through The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles for yourself so you can follow along with this article better, it's on sale right now as of publishing for a few more hours. It might also be on sale while you read this in the future, since it does go on sale rather... often.

Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band January 9 morning Russian paper Great Ace Attorney Chronicles examine
The January 9 morning newspaper in question.
Multiple articles, images, Russian text. All printed to the pages and laid out.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Who would want a LEGO Atari 2600 set?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Crash your wallet like it's 1983 all over again.

Building off the alleged success of the LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System set (MSRP: $230), LEGO on July 19 (just one day after I published another LEGO article!) announced a LEGO Atari 2600 set, featuring 2,532 pieces that build a console, LEGO cartridges of Asteroids, Adventure, and Centipede, a joystick, LEGO recreations of scenes of those three games, and a “surprise open mechanism.” (Reminder that it's not a real game console.) As well as an MSRP of $240. It's releasing on August 1, the same date many LEGO Super Mario products are releasing.

Apparently, this is to celebrate Atari (the company)'s 50th anniversary, though the Atari 2600 itself was released in 1977 (45 years ago). It's meant for... elderly people who have fond memories of the Atari 2600 system. Strangely, the announcement was NOT done in cooperation with the company that's going around calling itself Atari today. You won't find a press release from Atari... just a tweet. The present Atari is a really weird company that has the Atari brand and the ability to cash in on that (and released a modern console in 2021 called the Atari VCS that has a library of ancient Atari games plus cloud-streaming with stuff like Stadia, Luna, and Xbox Game Pass), as well as other projects like a sketchy blockchain business. They also made a gay pride parade simulator in the previous decade. (And that seemed to have been a flop to the point where Atari deleted references to it from their site and social media.)

Anyway, I struggle with the idea that there are real people out there who would pay $240 to fulfill some kind of super-dormant Atari nostalgia. When I think of the Atari today, I think of laughably primitive graphics on low-quality copycat shovelware titles that literally caused the videogame industry to crash in 1983. (Same Atari 2600.)

LEGO Atari 2600 surprise open mechanism coffin
It turns out the surprise open mechanism is a built-in coffin,
which is fitting for the console that killed the videogame industry in the United States and had its excess games buried in a landfill.

But hey, do what you want with your money. I probably could talk you out of your delusions, but if you've been clinging to them for over four decades, you're probably off the deep end already, and for longer than I've been around. At least THE MIGHTY BOWSER never stopped being cool.

What would you do with $240 to spare? Get a LEGO Atari 2600? Or buy something else? Let KoopaTV know the ways you can creatively use that money, and help contribute to you earning a $10 Nintendo eShop gift card code from the site as part of the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program! Sure, it's not $240, but you'll also probably get more out of that $10 than the $240 that'd go to a homage to a terrible industry-crushing product with poor software that has its modern brand managed by suspicious bad guys.

Monday, July 25, 2022

About Pokémon Smile Version 2.0.0

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Johto! Hundred more! (Approximately.)

I REALLY feel bad for not writing about this before, but on the other claw... no one really cares about this. But on the week of June 1 2022, while everyone was talking about that new Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet trailer revealing the game's theme, multiplayer, cover legendaries, and Smoliv, Lechonk, and Pawmi, there was other news that I was more looking forward to: Version 2.0.0 of Pokémon Smile.

Understand: Pokémon Smile isn't a great experience. It's not even all that good at building habits, per my in-depth review of Pokémon Smile's habit-forming mechanisms.

Pokémon Smile cute Girafarig sprite caught version 2
I was waiting until I got a Miltank to publish this,
but I know someone who'll be happy I settled for Girafarig.

Still, the version is a big update, especially notable because the question on The Pokémon Company International's support site asking “Will more Pokémon be added to Pokémon Smile in the future?” has been given the answer “There are no plans for updates to add more Pokémon to the app.” since the start of the app, including to this day. They added all of the Johto Pokémon (though Smeargle was already in it as of November 2021), added new medals, stickers, caps, frames, given you the choice to pick Chikorita, Totodile, or Cyndaquil as your partner Pokémon (side note: I think I've recently decided that Chikorita is my favourite Johto starter, though actually using her in-game is a frustrating idea), given you the option to change your partner Pokémon (so I could actually see the animations of the other Pokémon and not only watch Squirtle use Bubble for all eternity), and probably most important of all, totally changed the app's soundtrack. The opening/menu theme went from this quirky bombastic score to a much more calm and subdued waiting room feel, which is much more appropriate for, say, brushing your teeth before going to bed.

But it's not just the opening. The music is all different. The visiting the Pokémon in their friend areas music is different. The music while battling plaque is different than version 1, and keep in mind that different environments have different music from one another. (Which is all wasted if you do what you shouldn't and cheat with an electric toothbrush, meaning you can't appreciably hear the phone's audio anyway.)

Anyway, I'll keep using this until I get all of the new Pokémon in it. Maybe they'll do Hoenn next. Maybe not. I like the character designs a lot, though.

Ludwig needs to keep using this until he gets Miltank, at the very least. He has a dentist appointment on August 5. He probably has a cavity that he needs to tell them about. It's not going to be a fun time. Pokémon Smile isn't fun, either, but dentists are a whole other level of terror, to the point that he brings plushies to his appointments.