With the launch of Nintendo's GameCube drawing near, it's easy to forget about one of the biggest reasons (together with Zelda and Mario) why Nintendo is still such a dominant force in the videogame industry: Pokémon. It seems that there are a few hundred thousand kids (and older "kids") out there that haven't forgotten about the mega-franchise, however. In a press release today, Nintendo announced that sales of Pokémon Crystal have reached nearly 600,000 units in North America in the two weeks since the game's release.
Similar in concept to Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon Crystal is more than just a shallow attempt to exploit the rabid fanbase. Pokémon Crystal contains significant additions relative to its Gold and Silver siblings. For the first time in Poké-history, players will be able to control a female trainer, though, of course, the option to control a male trainer is included as well.
The Pokémon franchise was responsible for a staggering $4.3 billion in sales last year in the United States alone, proof positive that the cute and collectable critters aren't going anywhere. It's only a matter of time until installments are announced for the GameCube and Game Boy Advance, an announcement both fans and Nintendo will be looking forward to.