The backlash against Pokémon Sword & Shield has done little to diminish the enthusiasm for the games in their homeland. The duo of titles launched this past weekend to crazy sales, quickly becoming the best opening week for any Switch game in Japan. They even surpassed Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
It's currently unknown exactly how many copies were sold at launch. The numbers might never be known as Nintendo withholds information regarding digital downloads. Nintendo's next financial report, which talks about physical sales data, won't be released until 2020. That is when we'll learn approximately how well Pokémon Sword & Shield are doing.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, the combined physical sales of Pokémon Sword & Shield in Japan are over 1.36 million. That number includes physical download codes and the double pack containing both games. Pokémon Sword & Shield have beaten the previous record held by Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which sold 1.23 million units in its first week (and roughly the same number of Pokémon).
A similar surge of interest was seen in the United Kingdom, where the release of Sword & Shield caused an increase in the sales for the Nintendo Switch itself. Pokémon Sword & Shield are being positioned as the big holiday 2019 titles for the Nintendo's hybrid platform, so it's likely that the latest games will keep selling in the lead up to Christmas and beyond the holiday season.
The Nintendo Switch already received Pokémon games in the form of the Let's Go titles last year, but there wasn't as much enthusiasm for those titles. Even taking into consideration the backlash Sword & Shield faced in the lead up to release, hype was through the roof. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has had a stranglehold on the best-selling Nintendo Switch games list for a while now and even the mighty Super Smash Bros. Ultimate couldn't dethrone it. It's possible that Pokémon Sword & Shield, for all of their faults, have the star power to become the new best-selling Nintendo Switch games.
Pokémon Sword & Shield are available now for Nintendo Switch.