Last week saw the global release of Pokémon Sword and Shield, the latest titles in the long-running franchise. While North American sales figures are likely some time away, UK figures are starting to come in, and they seem fairly impressive.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, sales of the Switch console rose more than 30 percent during the period, with the majority focused on the traditional version of the console. Naturally, the games themselves also sold quite well. Pokémon Sword and Shield accounted for the top three slots in the UK Physical Top 10 (these numbers are likely split between Sword, Shield and the Double Pack). Combined, the games provided the best debut for a Switch title in the region thus far, dethroning last year's release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Overall, Sword and Shield have had the third best debut ever for a Nintendo published game, behind Wii Fit and Pokémon Sun and Moon. Notably, Sun and Moon came out much further into the 3DS' lifespan, when more people could purchase the games without investing in new hardware.
The numbers continue a pattern of good news for Nintendo. After the dismal selling Wii U, Switch has proven to be an unmitigated success. The company has sold 90,000 Switch units in the UK this month, and it is currently the best-selling console in the region for the year. If this keeps on pace, it will mark the first time in five years that a Sony console has not been the best-selling console in the UK.
Though the news might not seem all that surprising given the overall popularity of the franchise and its sales history, it is interesting given the controversy surrounding this particular Pokémon generation. Pokémon Sword and Shield pared down the Pokédex this time around, cutting out the National Dex feature that has been a staple of the series. As a result, a number of franchise favorites were left on the cutting room floor. Many fans were displeased, arguing the games would feel rushed and incomplete, leading to a noticeable rift between the fan base on social media. Reviews, however, have been fairly strong for the titles, and there seems to be quite a bit of excitement about the new additions to the Pokédex.
Have you checked out Pokémon Sword and Shield yet? What do you think of the games so far? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!