Oh, snap. (No, not “Snap” as in a sequel to the charming Nintendo 64 spinoff for which some of you were hoping…)
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata kicked off the new year’s “Pokémon Direct” with a recap of the history of the main series, from Game Boy’s Pokémon Red and Blue (or in Japan, Red and Green) all the way up through Black 2 and White 2 on the Nintendo 3DS. Roughly one year after those latter sequels, fans worldwide will simultaneously enter the 6th generation of the franchise, and in 3D.
Pokémon X and Y have been announced for a October 2013 release in each of the major regions (i.e., Japan, the Americas, Europe, and Australia), with additional localizations to follow. The 6th generation games will bring Pokémon both new and old into the 3rd dimension — and not just stereoscopically on the Nintend 3DS, but also in-game via Pokémon Stadium-esque battles.
Two new player characters are revealed, though the male player character does bear a few resemblances to Hilbert (the male player character of Pokémon Black), though the different hat, hairstyles, and sunglasses toss out most suspicions of a direct sequel to Gen V. You’ll be accompanied at the start of your journey by one of three new starter Pokémon — the grass-type Chespin, the fire-type Fennekin, or the water-type Froakie. Seems very European, no?
Unlike Pokémon Black and White, it seems Pokémon available in other regions will be encountered fairly early, as the starters can be seem battling Magikarp, Golurk, Munchlax, Kirlia, Pansear, and Patrat in the field. There are even wild Pikachu in the forests again! All is right with the world!
The announcement trailer seems to suggest that we’ll still only be able to travel forward, backward, left, and right (as usual) as opposed to full 360-degree motion — understandable based on how previous games calculated things such as wild encounters — but the camera perspective seems to vary as far as the direction, angle, and distance. That said, it looks like we’ll be getting something other than (or in addition to) running shoes and/or a bike — the male player character can be seen in the trailer using what appear to be roller blades/skates!