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"The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD." Screenshot: Nintendo

New video game sales rankings released in the U.S. and Japan show demand for Switch games is strong, even by Nintendo's standard measures of success.

Why it matters: With the next-gen Xbox and PlayStation still low in supply — and marquee new releases for Switch competitors delayed due to COVID — we're seeing the strength of Nintendo's steady, stubborn approach to the gaming business.

By the numbers: In the U.S., Switch console exclusives took nine of the top 20 spots in July, according to tracking group NPD.

  • In Japan, Switch games by Nintendo and third parties swept the top 30 for the first full week of August, according to industry publication Famitsu.
  • That run in Japan is reportedly the first single-platform sweep of the weekly charts since at least 1988.

Between the lines: Switch software sales are largely thriving thanks to the appeal of Nintendo's older games, which remain popular and seldom go on sale for less than their $60 sticker price.

  • Nintendo took the top slot in NPD's chart with July's Switch edition of "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword," a game first released for the Wii in 2011.
  • And it took fourth with "Mario Kart 8," a money-printer that launched for Switch in 2017 after already selling millions on the older Wii U.
  • It's not that Nintendo doesn't make new games. They just don't chart as high lately.

The big picture: In much of entertainment, even in gaming, the biggest companies are loading up subscription services with years of back catalogue favorites, figuring that's the best way to monetize them. This just isn't Nintendo's way.

  • Nintendo's gambit is that it can sell its classics all over again as if they're new, and at full price, of course.
  • It focuses on bringing beloved games from the past 25 years back by tweaking them — polishing graphics, improving controls and adding qualify-of-life features.
  • This is good news for Nintendo's business people, but a frustrating approach for fans of classic games, who regularly groan about the company's refusal to utilize its own retro subscription service to offer a wider range of old titles.

Go deeper

"Smash Bros. Ultimate" to announce its final fighter Tuesday

Image courtesy of Nintendo

"Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"'s last fighter is being announced Tuesday, bringing the game's whopping 82-character cast to a close.

Why it matters: The final fighter, which will be added via DLC, signals a possible end to more than just the game's roster.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

American officials and authorities in Haiti are working to try and free 17 hostages from a U.S.-based missionary group who were kidnapped in Port-au-Prince over the weekend, AP reported Monday.

The latest: Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement Sunday, "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children." The Ohio-based organization said they were on a trip to visit an orphanage when they were kidnapped Saturday.

China's economic growth slows

A worker assembles heavy truck engines in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, on Monday. Photo: Long We/Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

China's economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter of 2021 compared with a year earlier, the country's National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday.

Why it matters: The gross domestic product growth in the July-September period in the world’s second-largest economy marked the "weakest pace since the third quarter of 2020 and slowing from 7.9% in the second quarter," Reuters notes.