Nintendo Direct: New Pokémon Games Coming 2017

Gotta Catch ‘em All

It’s that time of year again. With the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) just around the corner, gamers everywhere are on the edge of their seats waiting for new announcements (official or not). In what has become the norm for Nintendo, they have decided to announce their next few games outside of E3 through one of their Nintendo Directs.

Rumors circulated of a potential Switch follow-up to last year’s Pokémon Sun and Moon (Pokémon Stars), but those rumors have been put to rest. Instead, we will have 3DS sequels Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon. Players will return to the Alola region, expanding more on the world and story of Sun and Moon. The trailer showed off new forms of Sun and Moon’s legendary Pokémon Solgaleo and Lunala, along with a release date of November 17.

If two new handheld titles aren’t enough, Nintendo is also releasing both the original Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver to the 3DS virtual console. The new versions of both games will also support Nintendo’s Pokémon Bank, allowing trainers to transfer their favorites into other compatible Pokémon games. Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver will be available starting September 22.

Nintendo has also announced Pokken Tournament Deluxe (or DX) for the Nintendo Switch. The new version includes the original 16 fighters from the WiiU’s Pokken Tournament, along with Darkrai, Scizor, Empoleon, Croagunk and Decidueye. 3v3 team battles, ranked matches, and friend-only group matches hope to give the game “the deluxe treatment”. Pokken Tournament Deluxe will launch on September 22.

E3 will feature more details and gameplay from Pokken Tournament. Nintendo will also host an invitational tournament to be streamed June 14, 10:30 AM Pacific time. Pokken Tournament will release before Nintendo’s paid online service launches in 2018, so hopefully Nintendo will have dedicated servers in place for launch. 

Releasing a second set of Pokémon games for a handheld console has been a death flag in the past (FireRed/LeafGreen, Black/White 2), leading some to speculate that the Nintendo 3DS is on its last legs. Nintendo also failed to deliver on updates to the first Pokken tournament, updating only the arcade version, which seemed to fail commercially. Still, Pokémon is Pokémon, and I’ll probably be in line launch day as usual.