While people may not have been jumping for joy about the announcement of another Pokemon title, what was shown for it was impressive...
Pokemon, by far Nintendo's biggest moneymaking franchise, was surprisingly in hiding at Nintendo’s booth at this year’s E3. The true darling of the show was GameCube, followed by GBA. Just as popular were the systems’ squishy counterparts that were being given away at the booth. Pokemon merchandise, usually a cause of rioting at Nintendo’s booth, was no where to be found. Pokemon games were also surprisingly absent.
Clearly, one of the reasons for the lack of Poke-presence is Nintendo keeping quiet about how the GameCube and Game Boy Advance will interact with one another...at least for now. It’s well documented that the Pokemon franchise will utilize this connection in its upcoming GBA and NGC incarnations. It is expected that Nintendo will release more information on the GBA/NGC connection at its SpaceWorld show this August, so we may see “Meowth’s Party” again then.
NCL director and general manager, Satoru Iwata was interviewed by IGNCube, where he touched on this and hinted the connection will involve more than what we saw with Pokemon Stadium.
Iwata: Well, we first showed you the demo at Space World last year and a lot of people were wondering why we didn't show something here at E3. But really what this E3 show is about is that we've focused on games that we're going to have out by the end of this year and that game is not going to be one of them, which is why we haven't shown it here.
One other aspect is that we're also currently in development with Pokemon for Game Boy Advance and we're working on getting a really good link between those two games.
Of course, we could do something like we have with Pokemon Stadium in the past, but if we do something like that it wouldn't be as much fun as it's already been done. So instead we're looking at things that haven't been done and we're looking at new things to add to them and new ways to get the two games to work together so that we can create something that's going to make people happy. If we don't try hard enough we're going to end up with a sequel that's not going to please people.
Last updated: 04/26/2001 by Max Lake
In a recent interview with Nintendo’s Gail Tilden, Computer and Videogames was able to glean even more info about the next Pokemon game, confirming that the Meowth demo is indeed a sample of what is to come.
CVG: How does the Pokemon franchise fit into Nintendo's plans for Game Boy Advance and GameCube?
Gail Tilden: Pokemon, like Mario and Zelda, is going to be part of the Nintendo line-up forever. You can expect [Pokemon] to remain at a similar magnitude as it is now. We haven't announced a lot of formal plans, but you will have seen the Meowth tech demo we showed at Space World last year. That was your first look at the first Pokemon game for Gamecube. It's in the works right now. More had been said about Gameboy Advance, as we've already announced the Card-E system that will be an integral part of that game.
CVG: Moving into the next generation of Nintendo hardware, do you still see the handheld unit as the prime carrier of Pokemon product?
Gail Tilden: We expect to see the next true Pokemon games after Gold, Silver and Crystal appearing on Game Boy Advance. But similar to how Pokemon Stadium drew data from the Game Boy games, the GameCube games will take that to the next level. The connectivity between GBA and GameCube gives the game creators a whole new dimension to explore. It's going to be light-years ahead of what's been done already in Pokemon. People can't possible imagine how it's going to work. I guarantee you will be amazed.
Last updated: 12/29/2000 by Max Lake
Meowth's Party made another appearance at Nintendo's Pre-ECTS conference, along with the other Game Cube demos. What makes Meowth stand out from the rest? Well, apparently, Shigeru Miyamoto danced along with the Pokemon and even played air guitar! Go Shiggy!
Last updated: 08/30/2000
One of the most impressive Game Cube demos shown at Space World was footage of a demo known as "Meowth's Party," showing the mischievous penny-pinching Pokemon rockin' out on guitar while several other Pokemon (of various shapes, sizes and colors) dance happily around him. Not only is the demo jam-packed with Pokemon, they're all bopping at high speeds, making the demo truly astounding!
Like almost all other Gamecube demos shown off by Nintendo at Space World, "Meowth's Party" may not be part of an actual game in development. However, there is no doubt that a Pokemon title is headed straight for Gamecube. NCL President, Hiroshi Yamauchi has confirmed as much, stating Gamecube will receive a "fully 3D version of Pokemon." Whether or not this will be an updated version of the original Pokemon (monster collection RPG) is unknown at this time; whatever type of game it is, there's a good possibly it could be a GC launch title. Considering Pokemon's undying (and internationally growing) popularity, it seems like a wise move.
Whatever type of Pokemon game is made, if the "Meowth's Party" demo is any indication of what we're in store for, the title should really be fantastic. Stay tuned, Pokemon Masters of the world; we're going to catch all the information we can on this one!