Pokemon Sword & Shield Sees Incredible Sales, Nearly Topping Best-Selling 3DS Games

Always bet on Pokemon.


Nintendo has detailed its financial performance for the nine-month period ended December 2019 and, as part of this, revealed that Pokemon Sword & Shield have sold over 16 million units. This incredibly strong performance has propelled the two into the list of top five best-selling Nintendo Switch games, where they sit behind The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Remarkably, the Sword & Shield figure brings the games to less than half a million units of the all-time best-selling Pokemon games on 3DS. Pokemon X and Y have sold 16.44 million units lifetime. Given that it had less than two months on the market before the December 31 cutoff, it's all but assured that the Switch games will top that number when Nintendo next updates its sales data.

The company also revealed that Luigi's Mansion 3 and Super Mario Maker 2 both sold over five million units. The nine-month period detailed in the report also covers the launch of the Nintendo Switch Lite and, as a result, "Nintendo Switch performed well without losing momentum, resulting in significant sales growth for the entire Nintendo Switch family that surpassed the same period in the last fiscal year." As it stands, total Nintendo Switch sales--combining both the standard Switch model and the Lite--has reached 52.48 units. That means it's already topped SNES's lifetime sales.

Overall, the financial report shows Nintendo had a very healthy nine-month period, with increases in sales and profit. Digital revenue also showed growth, rising by 48 percent year-on-year, while revenue generated from mobile games such as Mario Kart Tour grew by 10 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

Looking ahead in 2020, Nintendo's major release is set to be Animal Crossing: New Horizons. However, the company has a number of new games in major franchises in development, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, Bayonetta 3, and Metroid Prime 4. As of yet, these games do not have release dates.

In our Pokemon Sword & Shield review, Kallie Plagge awarded the game a 9/10. "In collecting, battling, and exploring, Sword and Shield cut out the bloat and focus on what makes these pillars of the Pokemon games so captivating in the first place," she said. "You're not held back by overly complicated back-end systems or hoops to jump through; from the outset, you can start wandering the Galar region, seeing its new Pokemon, and trying out its new battle strategies with very little in your way. This leaves you free to enjoy what Pokemon is all about, and that makes for an incredibly strong showing for the series' proper debut on Switch."

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