On February 27, 1996 , the original Pokémon games were released in Japan. Continuing the celebration of the beloved franchise’s 20th anniversary, Nintendo announced two new games in the series: Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. These will be the first new entries to the series since Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, both of which were released in 2013.
The new titles debuted in the video below which showcases the franchise’s widespread and unifying impact. Between this and the motivational Superbowl ad, the Pokémon Company is playing to the nostalgia of long-time fans.
More importantly (at least to this twenty-something year old) the Pokémon Company is celebrating the diversity of its fan base as much as they’re celebrating the franchise’s legacy. This much is apparent not only through the diversity of trainers displayed in the ad, but also through their intent to launch Sun and Moon in nine languages. For the first time in the series’ history, Pokémon Sun and Moon will add both traditional and simplified Chinese to the language options. This, according to Ishihara, is done so trainers can overcome language barriers and interact with other players, no matter their language or background.
The announcement of Pokémon Sun and Moon conveniently coincides with the digital re-release of Pokémon Blue, Red, and Yellow. These classics will be available on the Nintendo eShop starting tomorrow. None of the games are remastered; instead, they’re preserved in their original format. While this information may already be delightful to old-school purists, there’s an added incentive to revisiting the classics: through the new Pokémon Bank App, players will be able to import their monsters into Sun and Moon. Nintendo was never able to solve communication issues between the wired trades offered by the Gameboy and the wireless capabilities of the 3DS, so this is the first time that pokémon can be transferred from the original titles to the latest generation.
Beyond these features, not much is known about these titles and their impact the universe’s story. If the video is any indication, vehicles will play a part, suggesting that Sun and Moon may feature the largest region yet. Clips of an unknown Pokémon being animated indicate that Sun and Moon may introduce yet another generation of monsters, adding to the staggering 700+ Pokémon already in existence.
Either way, this announcement is proof positive that Pokémon’s appeal has all but died out, even after 2o years. Each added generation may make it harder to catch ‘em all, but it’s easy catch the enthusiasm surrounding this festive celebration.
Pokemon Sun and Moon will be released on the Nintendo 3DS family during the holiday season this year.