The main series of Pokémon games has always made its home on Nintendo’s portable handhelds, but is that about to change? The official Pokémon Twitter account announced that some big news regarding the series would be revealed on January 8th. At first, many people (including myself) wondered if this was the announcement of the 6th generation of Pokémon or of remakes of the third generation’s games. Either option made sense at first, but after thinking about this situation more, I’ve found a few flaws in these theories.
For starters, Pokémon Black and White 2, the most recent games in the series, came out in Japan last June and in America last October. The Pokémon games have been released at a much more frequent basis in the past few years, but announcing an entire new generation while Black and White 2 are still fresh in Pokémon’s biggest market is odd to say the least. The people behind the franchise could certainly do this, but I don’t think it would make a lot of sense. This got me thinking, “What else could the announcement be about?” Then I realized something: Game Freak, the developer of the main series of games, has not said anything about the announcement. In fact, Game Freak’s latest game, Rhythm Hunter HarmoKnight hasn’t even been released outside of Japan yet. It’s just not possible for Game Freak to be ready to announce its next game this quickly. Even if only a few people were working on HarmoKnight, it doesn’t seem to be mathematically plausible for Game Freak to already be far enough in the development cycle of its next Pokémon game to announce it already. Whatever the announcement is for, it’s probably not going to be anything directly related to Game Freak. So, what is going to be announced? My guess: Pokémon for the Wii U.
Nintendo seems confident that the Wii U will be a huge success despite the fact that the system’s early sales numbers have been slightly below expectations. The first half of 2013 looks good for the Wii U, but we don’t know anything about what’s coming in the second half of the year. I think it’s safe to say Nintendo has some aces up its sleeves. One of these aces is definitely a 3D Mario (probably called Super Mario Universe, the sequel to the Super Mario Galaxy series) and the other could easily be the first true Pokémon game for a console. Now, there have been a fair amount of Pokémon spin-offs released on consoles, but the spin-offs have always fallen short. Pokémon Coliseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness each tried to be the first true Pokémon game on a console, but both failed to live up to the lofty expectations that were set for them. (They were still decent games, though.) Both games lacked the substance and quality that is found in the main series of Pokémon games. Is a true Pokémon game finally appearing on a console? I think that just might be the case.
The Wii U is very similar to the DS and 3DS in terms of the dual screen design, so making a true Pokémon game for the Wii U wouldn’t be overly difficult. Any developer would already have a good foundation with which to start. The reason I mention that any developer would have a good foundation to start with is because I’m confident that Game Freak is not developing a game for the Wii U. Game Freak hasn’t developed for a console in years, and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon. If the game is real, it is most likely being developed by an entirely new studio.
I have always dreamed of a true Pokémon game for the big screen. I love handhelds, but there’s just something about playing a game on a console that is special. A true Pokémon game could be announced for the Wii U on Tuesday, but it could also easily just be the announcement of all new 6th generation Pokémon (which would still be cool). In fact, Pokébeach has an excellent theory that the announcement is for a new Eeveelution (an evolved form of Eevee), and it could easily be right. Ultimately, everything is just speculation until the announcement is actually revealed.
Whether the announcement is for an all new Pokémon game on the Wii U or something different entirely, the big secret will be revealed on Tuesday.