Batman: Arkham City has shipped more than 4.6 million units in its first week of release.
4.6 million is a big number. No matter what it is - money, people, videogames, whatever - if you've got 4.6 million of 'em, you've got a lot. And 4.6 million copies of Batman: Arkham City shipped worldwide sure does sound impressive. But how many of them actually sold? Well, that's a different thing that nobody seems quite ready to talk about just yet.
Now fair is fair and to be fair, Arkham City is putting up some very impressive review scores, with a Metacritic rating firmly ensconced in the mid-90s. It's a hit, and it deserves to be. But in spite of WBIE's claim that the figure is "more than double the number of units sold of Batman: Arkham Asylum in the same time period and solidifies the game's place as a contender for one of the top-selling titles of 2011," shipped ain't sold.
You probably already know what the difference is but if you're still trying to get it nailed down, just pop over to your local GameStop and ask how many copies of Arkham City it had available for launch day, then have a peek at how many are still sitting on the shelf. Or consider this: in mid-June, Take-Two announced that L.A. Noire had shipped more than four million copies, yet the game had sold "only" 899,000 copies in the U.S. and roughly 250,000 copies in the U.K. in the month of May. Those are very solid numbers by just about any measure, but let's be honest: one of them isn't quite like the other.