Officials from Nintendo of America have announced that, ten years after the launch of the original game in Japan, the latest entries in the core series of Pokemon
role-playing games have become the fastest selling in the franchise's history.
After launching three months ago in Japan, on September 28th, Pokemon Diamond
and Pokemon Pearl
for Nintendo DS have shipped 5 million units to retailers in Japan, making them the fastest selling games in the series ever.
As usual with Pokemon
titles, the two versions are near identical and exist largely to encourage trading. The titles had already become record breakers in their fourth week on sale, when they also passed the 2 million mark faster than any previous iteration.
franchise as a whole has now sold more than 155 million copies worldwide, through September 2006. When the series' total was put at 150 million
in October 2005 Nintendo claimed that it had generated more than $15 billion in retail sales.
This makes it Nintendo's second most successful franchise, behind the longer running and more loosely defined Super Mario
series. The new Pokemon
games are due for release in North American on April 22nd, with no release date yet announced for Europe.