Fans watched today’s Pokémon Direct with bated breath, wanting to see what was next for the franchise. While the direct was only eight minutes, those minutes ended up being filled with quite a bit of information. Fans might have at first started disappointed, but by the end, it was clear we all have a lot to look forward to.
The main thrust of the Direct was the reveal of Pokkén Tournament DX for Nintendo Switch. This title will be an upgraded port of Pokkén Tournament on the Wii U, with added features such as a proper local multiplayer mode (on the Wii U, one player had to use the gamepad screen) and five new characters. Most of these new characters are from the arcade version of the game, but one newcomer is Decidueye from Pokémon Sun and Moon and is new to DX. Pokkén Tournament DX is scheduled for release on September 22nd.
Speaking of Sun and Moon, hidden at the end of the reveal trailer for Pokkén was a first look at the next set of core titles in the franchise. We were briefly treated to a look at Pokémon UltraSun and UltraMoon, expected for release on November 17th, for the 3DS line of systems. We got a glimpse at some new clothing options and locations. Most curiously, legendary Pokémon Solgaleo and Lunala reappear, but seem to be fused with another legendary that was hidden in Sun and Moon, and has only been talked about officially by things like this cryptic tweet. According to producer Junichi Masuda, UltraSun and UltraMoon will tell an “alternate story.”
Finally, it was also revealed that Pokémon Gold and Silver, originally released for the Game Boy Color, would be released on Nintendo’s Virtual Console service. Just like the previous release of Red and Blue, these games will feature wireless gameplay and compatibility with the Pokémon Bank service, meaning players will be able to to take their classic teams into the modern games. Curiously, Crystal Version does not appear to be on the slate, even though Yellow Version was released. These will be available the same day as Pokkén Tournament DX, September 22nd.
The main takeaway here is that more Wii U titles are likely to find new life in the early days of the Nintendo Switch. That’s not a bad thing by any means; with a smaller install base, many great Wii U games simply never got their due. Enhancing and releasing some of the best is a solid way to fill in the library-so long as we keep getting new games, too.
However, I wouldn’t expect a new core Pokémon series title on the Switch for a little while longer. While many fans seem to be pretty disappointed about this, it isn’t out of the ordinary for The Pokémon Company. For example: the Nintendo 3DS released in 2011 but Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 still released for the DS in 2012. The 3DS wouldn’t get a dedicated title until Pokémon X and Y a year later. Holding back does make sense, especially when you consider both the install base and the competitive scene. For now, I hope you didn’t flip your 3DS/2DS for the Switch.
What did you think of today’s brief presentation? Are you excited to return to Alola, or are you bummed there’s no Switch version? Let us know in the comments!