On the morning of February 25th, the Internet did what it does best, which is leak information that a company didn’t want out in the public just yet. That information was that Nintendo and the Pokémon Company would be announcing two brand new games, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, during the “Pokémon Direct” the following day.
The leak was met with skepticism, excitement, anger, and, most importantly, memes. Lots and lots of memes.
Well, it turns out the information was accurate. Almost twenty years to the day since Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green launched in Japan, it has been confirmed that Sun and Moon will be coming in the holiday season of 2016.
It was only a six minute video, but Nintendo and the Pokémon Company have given us a lot to look forward to. We don’t quite know for certain if Sun and Moon marks a new and seventh generation of Pokémon, but with the recent reporting of a new monster, Magiana, to be in an upcoming movie, I’m going to assume that this is Gen VII.
Also of note is that the new Nintendo 3DS eShop releases of the Gen I games will be compatible with Pokémon Bank, meaning players will be able to transfer monsters caught in the original games to their newest games. Due to there never being a way to transfer from the GameBoy Color to the GameBoy Advanced titles, the furthest a player could reach back was Gen III. This now bridges a gap between Gen I and Gen VI and the potential Gen VII, though still leaves no way to transfer from Gen II.
Personally, I’m excited. I had become resigned to the idea that the next Pokémon title would likely be a third iteration of 2013’s Pokémon X and Y, which of course fans assumed would be named Pokémon Z. Instead, we’re getting a completely new experience and likely a whole new batch of monsters as well.
Looking at the bigger picture, some may find it surprising that such a huge title is releasing this late in the 3DS’s lifespan, especially when the upcoming Nintendo “NX” may be replacing the 3DS right when Sun and Moon are releasing. I’m not surprised in the least. If you look at history, the Pokémon Company has always been late to leave platforms and late to adopt new ones. Look no further than the releases of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 so late in the original Nintendo DS’s life span and the fact that it took over two years for the 3DS to get its first proper Pokémon games in X and Y.
Choice of platform aside, Pokémon Sun and Moon just adds to the blockbuster lineup for this year. We already had titles like Uncharted 4, a new Legend of Zelda, The Last Guardian, and, ahem, Persona 5 on the horizon. A new Pokémon generation this fall makes the beating my wallet is taking this year that much worse.