In news that surprises absolutely no one, The Pokemon Company announced this week that Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have sold more than 3 million copies in just three days.
The most notable part of that impressive figure may be that it only includes sales from November 21 to November 23 in Japan, U.S., South Korea, Australia and a few other small regions. In other words, Europe hasn’t even gotten the games yet. The titles will release in that region November 28, most likely causing another huge spike in sales.
Fans may recall that Pokemon X and Y moved over 4 million units in two days, but it’s a bit hard to compare, because the X and Y figures include one day in Europe and 2 days in all other regions. Still, considering that Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are remakes of games that longtime Pokemon fans have already played, it’s impressive to see so many units flying off shelves and helps explain why several of Nintendo’s latest 3DS and Wii U hits are remakes of classics.
It’s been a banner week for Nintendo, with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U also launching to sales success and critical acclaim, and Amiibos getting off to a good start as well. Having said that, it’s highly unlikely anyone at the Big N is all that surprised. The company may have “called its shot” in regards to the sales numbers for both Smash and Pokemon in a financial briefing for investors back in October.
Nintendo’s hypothesis goes like this: Students who were in elementary school when Super Smash Bros. Melee released for the GameCube were also some of the biggest adopters of the original Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire for the Game Boy Advance. This generation of gamers, now mostly aged 18 to 25, represent a large percentage of those who picked up Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS in September. Nintendo stated that Smash releasing on a handheld most likely increased awareness for these gamers of the 3DS and some of them may have noticed that a remake for the Pokemon games they played during their childhood was also on the way.
It remains to be seen if Super Smash Bros for Wii U can turn around their home console’s current position in the marketplace, but it’s hard to say Nintendo doesn’t know what it’s doing after examining that Smash–Pokemon theory.
Nintendo will be taking its fan service for this particular group of players a step further next spring, when the legendary Pokemon Mewtwo will become playable through DLC for both versions of Smash Bros. Hardcore Smash fans who own both the Wii U and 3DS titles will be able to download Mewtwo for free.
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are available now for Nintendo 3DS. Both games have received positive reviews.
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