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Nintendo says Pokémon Go is driving 3DS Pokémon game sales

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Pokemon Go
James Bareham / The Verge

Nintendo may not have had a lot to do with the development of Pokémon Go — but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t reaping benefits from the mobile game’s success. Nintendo says that the awareness generated by the smash-hit augmented reality game has resulted in a boost in sales for both the Nintendo 3DS handheld and older Pokémon games.

According to NPD data covering physical game sales in the US, not only was the 3DS the top-selling platform for July, but Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, which were originally released in 2014, both jumped into the top 10 on the best-sellers list, taking spots eight and 10, respectively. That marks an 80 percent jump in sales compared to last July, according to Nintendo, and the bump is impacting even older games as well: Pokémon X and Y, which first launched in 2013, saw a 200 percent jump in sales compared to last year. (This month’s top-selling game in the US was Monster Hunter Generations, also on the 3DS.) The company believes that these increases were due in part to “widespread positive public reception for the Pokémon Go mobile app, which has renewed interest in core Pokémon games on Nintendo systems.”

Initially the success of Pokémon Go caused Nintendo’s shares to skyrocket to their highest point in decades, but that changed after investors realized that the company actually only had minimal involvement in the game’s creation. Nintendo was forced to release a statement explaining that the direct impact from Pokémon Go on its business would be “limited.” That said, the increased awareness around Pokémon is definitely good news for Nintendo — especially considering that Pokémon Sun and Moon are on their way to the 3DS in November.

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