As reported earlier today by gaming site Famitsu (thanks, Gematsu), the Switch-exclusive pair have moved in the order of 1.36 million copies within just three days of going on sale in its native Japan. An impressive start, to say the least, but the final tally is likely to be even higher than that. The aforementioned figure takes into account physical copies, download cards and the limited edition Sword and Shield Double Pack, but not digital sales.
If you’re wondering how that performance stacks up against the Switch’s current software line-up, there’s really only one comparison worth noting. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, previously the fastest-selling title for the console, sold 1.23 million units in its opening week in Japan, making Sword and Shield the new top dog.
As if that wasn’t already proof enough of the Pokémon brand’s absurd popularity, last week’s launch prompted a sharp rise in Switch hardware sales (standard and Lite) from below the 100k mark to 180,136 between November 11th and 17th. The increase was considerably lower than that attributed to Smash Ultimate‘s release, but the disparity is likely due to the console’s larger install base now than it was 12 months ago.
All in all, then, developer Game Freak seems to have avoided any potential dent in sales over its handling of Pokémon’s home console debut, though it remains to be seen if success in its home country will be mimicked in the Western market, especially North America. We’ll have to wait and see what transpires in that regard, but for now, at least, Pokémon Sword and Shield have proven, yet again, that the globally popular brand’s continued success is borderline immune to criticism.