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‘Pokémon Sword’ & ‘Shield’ Clear 16m Sales In Under Two Months

‘Pokémon Sword’ & ‘Shield’ Clear 16m Sales In Under Two Months

Barely a day passes without someone in our comments quacking on about how the Switch is some kind of lesser console, a system for casuals, a mere toy beside the giants of PlayStation and Xbox. And, yes, that kind of gatekeeping tribalism is boring AF, but heck, 30 years ago I was flying the flag for SEGA 'versus' Nintendo, so, who am I to talk? (Though I was ten at the time, so maybe some of you lot could grow up a bit.) Anyway, the Switch: turns out, it's pretty popular, actually.

And this is never more clear than when it comes to software sales. With some 52 million Switch units out there in the wild, inevitably there's going to be some big numbers when it comes to game sales. But the Switch's really do put those of Xbox and PlayStation in the shade.

Pokémon Sword & Shield / Credit: Nintendo, Game Freak, The Pokémon Company
Pokémon Sword & Shield / Credit: Nintendo, Game Freak, The Pokémon Company

God of War was - is - a big game for PlayStation, and sold around 10 million copies in its first year on sale. Now, this is cheating a bit given that it's two games, not one, but the most-recent Pokémon game(s), Sword and Shield, have absolutely battered Kratos and company. Combined, the games have sold over 16 million copies in under two months, reports VGC. That amounts to 30% of Switch players owning the game. Those are very much not rookie numbers, right there.

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And not to leave you out, Xbox stans - Halo: Infinite managed to sell 5 million copies in its first three months. Impressive, but well behind those (pocket) monster numbers.

But the Sword and Shield sales ain't diddly squat beside those of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The biggest-selling game on Switch so far, the expanded port of what was a very, very good Wii U game - and probably the best Mario Kart entry to date - has now sold almost 23 million units. Combined with Wii U sales to total over 27 million, Mario Kart 8 is the 19th best-selling video game of all time, ahead of Grand Theft Auto IV, SEGA's original Sonic the Hedgehog, and Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe / Credit: Nintendo
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe / Credit: Nintendo

Suffice to say, people really like Mario Kart. But 8/Deluxe isn't yet the biggest-selling entry in its series, as Mario Kart Wii sold over 37 million copies. Well, the Wii was a wildly popular console, and the Switch has some way to go before it catches up with its 101 million units shifted (in terms of home consoles, only the PlayStation, PS2 and PS4 have sold more).

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Back to more recent releases, and October 2019's Luigi's Mansion 3 - a sumptuous stunner of a spook 'em up, that made our games of the year list with ease - has now sold 5.3 million copies. No small feat for a game starring the other Mario brother. Ring Fit Adventure has sold 2.6m copies, which must also be seen as a success for something so niche.

The top-five best-selling games on Switch currently looks like this:

1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 22.96m
2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - 17.7m
3. Super Mario Odyssey - 16.6m
4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - 16.3m
5. Pokémon Sword & Shield - 16m

Featured Image Credit: Nintendo

Topics: switch, pokemon, Nintendo, gamingbible, Mario Kart

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Mike Diver

Head of Content at GAMINGbible. Former gigs include VICE Gaming, BBC Music, BBC Gaming Show. Author of 'Indie Games: The Complete Introduction to Indie Gaming' (2016), 'How to Be a Professional Gamer' (2016), 'Retro Gaming: A Byte-Sized History of Video Games' (2019). Contact: [email protected]