Pokemon Sword And Shield Sell Big In Japan In First Week

It's a Gigantamax-sized debut for Pokemon.


Pokemon Sword and Shield are, perhaps unsurprisingly, off to a strong start in Nintendo's native Japan. According to Famitsu (via Gematsu), the pair of Pokemon games sold a combined 1.36 million retail copies within their first three days. That makes it the best-selling opening week for a Switch game in Japan, surpassing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's 1.23 million.

That number is already a strong debut, but even stronger when you consider that the figure only includes physical game copies and download codes, not digital sales directly through the Eshop. When Nintendo factors digital sales, as well as those from other territories, it's bound to grow substantially.

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Those strong sales make it likely to appear on a future edition of Nintendo's all-time sales charts. Pokemon games tend to make appearances on those charts. Currently Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee occupy the #5 spot for all-time Switch software sales, with 11.28 million units. For a look at how dominant Pokemon can be, though, the 3DS chart shows a Pokemon game occupying three of the top five, bested only by Mario Kart 7.

If you've picked up Pokemon, be sure to claim your free monsters while you can. Plus check out our guides to Gigantamax Pokemon and Eevee evolutions.

"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," Kallie Plagge wrote in GameSpot's review. "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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