A week ahead of the release of Pokemon Diamond
, Nintendo has confirmed that North American pre-orders for the upcoming Nintendo DS titles have topped 533,000, all but assuring that the games will be among April's top selling titles when they are both released on April 22.
In fact, Nintendo has said it expects the pair of titles will be among the most successful games shipped in 2007. According to Nintendo, the games have already doubled the pre-order numbers of 2004's Pokemon FireRed
, which jointly went on to sell more than 3.4 million units in North America. The games have already become the best selling iterations of the series so far in Japan.
Building upon an already successful franchise and existing fan base, Pokemon Diamond
will together include more than 100 new Pokemon not found in other games, as well as include the ability for players to import other Pokemon collected in other previously released games for the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance.
The games will also include VoIP chat functionality over Nintendo's WiFi Connection, a new feature added for the Western release. Although the feature will work via the handheld’s built-in microphone, a separate headset will also be released at the same time as the game – presumably with the potential to be used in other subsequent DS titles.
To celebrate the games' release, Nintendo has also announced plans for a themed event to take place at the Nintendo World store in New York City. The event, which is expected to see more than 5,000 attendees, will run from 1 to 5 pm on April 22, and will feature a variety of Pokemon related events and contests, as well as the opportunity to try out and purchase the newly released games.