Pokémon Sword and Shield set debut sales records in Japan and the UK

Pokémon Sword and Shield debut sales record Japan 1.36 million

The long wait is over! Pokémon Sword and Shield, the first new generation on Switch, has arrived. Portions of the Pokémon community harshly criticized the removal of the National Dex (along with other issues), but that doesn’t seem to be impacting sales. We’ve been hearing all kinds of rumblings about impressive pre-order numbers, and the numbers from Japan just came in. After just three days on the market, the Galarian games set a new debut sales record with over 1.36 million retail sales at launch.

Pokémon Sword and Shield set debut sales records

That’s quite a strong start. In fact, that’s the best launch any Switch game has had in Japan thus far. Pokémon Sword and Shield’s 1.36 million retail sales (1,364,544, to be specific) beats out Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s previous record of 1.23 million.

That’s not even the full sales count either. These numbers (as reported by Famitsu) include physical sales, sales of download cards, and dual-packs. However, players who bought the game directly from the eShop aren’t included in this count.

Strong retail sales invigorate Switch

This impressive opening weekend for Pokémon Sword and Shield also boosted Switch sales in Japan. Nintendo sold 180,136 Switch units this past week, up from 88,772 the week before. As Gematsu points out, that’s comparable to the sales boost the system received from the Let’s Go games in 2018.

According to GamesIndustry.biz, Pokémon Sword and Shield also set a new Switch retail sales debut record in the UK. Much like in Japan, this led to a boost in Switch sales. Nintendo’s console saw its sales increase by around 30% thanks to Pokémon‘s impressive opening weekend. Aside from being the strongest Switch launch ever, it was the third-strongest Nintendo debut of all time in the UK.

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Ben Lamoreux
Nintendo Enthusiast's Managing Editor. I grew up on Super Nintendo and never stopped playing. Been writing video game news, opinions, reviews, and interviews professionally for over a decade. Favorite franchises include Zelda, Metroid, and Mother.