What will Pokemon be like in 2019? We have the answer.
If you haven’t noticed, Pokémon has more or less become an annual franchise. In North America at least, a main series Pokémon game (or set of main series games) has come out every year since 2009.
2010: HeartGold and SoulSilver
2011: Black and White
2012: Black 2 and White 2
2013: X and Y
2014: Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
Things get a little iffy when we get Japan involved because there wasn’t a mainline release in 2011 (before worldwide release parity became a thing with Black and White 2, the games released six or so months earlier in Japan), but for the most part, a Pokémon game has been coming out every year for a few years now. Noticing this, I have been inspired to go into full speculation mode and take guesses as to what The Pokémon Company is going to be releasing for the next five years. Some of these guesses will be educated and some will not be, but we’ll see just how wrong I am in 2019.
Pokémon XZ and Pokémon YZ (3DS)
I have confidence this is going to happen. Continuing from Black 2 and White 2’s decision to become sequels rather than third versions, I think X and Y are going to get a pair of sequels too. And quite frankly, there’s a lot of work that can be done to improve the basic Pokémon 3DS experience. Thanks to New 3DS, I wonder if there’s a chance that we could get the game fully in 3D (or at least running at a solid frame rate). Additionally, Game Freak could give Kalos an actual post-game, a story for Zygarde, and a few new cities and towns.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Phantom Gate (3DS)
The title references a trademark for “Phantom Gate” filed by Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, and Creatures Inc. last year. Gates to Infinity has a similar title and the game is clearly Pokémon related, so a sequel would make sense. I actually liked Gates to Infinity when it came out last year, though I lamented the low Pokémon count. A new game could add more creatures (including X and Y ones), Mega Evolutions, and a few more gameplay layers.
Pokkén Tournament (Arcade)
This one is less of a guess because it was confirmed for Japanese arcades next year, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s going to stay exclusively Japanese next year.
Pokémon Dawn and Pokémon Dusk (3DS/4DS)
Generation 7! The two legendary Pokémon could control day and night or something! My one concern here is whether the 3DS/New 3DS could handle a more technically proficient game than X and Y. Moreover, if this would be on a 3DS successor, when would that be coming out? 2016 sounds about right, but Black and White came out around the same time 3DS did. I’m going to be bold and say this game marks the first cross-platform Pokémon release a la Grand Theft Auto V’s quest to PS4. The region is based on South America. Maybe Brazil. There are 50-75 new Pokémon again.
Pokkén Tournament (Wii U)
I think the console port hits in 2016. It will add in some kind of story and challenge mode, and there will be more characters. I’m hoping for Sawk.
Great Detective Pikachu (3DS)
Remember when this thing was shown off? I think this is going to release early in the year as a full game or sometime in 2015 (as originally suggested in its announcement) if it’s just an eShop game. I anticipate a goofy-yet-childlike story. I also think this is a decent idea for a weird late 3DS game.
Pokémon Sparkling Diamond and Shining Pearl (4DS)
Since the DS games released in 2007, remakes hitting in 2017 wouldn’t be that crazy. I have no idea what the 4DS will do when it comes out (or even if it’s named that), but high-end Wii graphics on a portable in full 3D and an even better online infrastructure could give the game a new sheen. It’s one of the lesser generations in my opinion, but late 2017 sounds about right for this remake.
Pokémon Snap 2 (Wii U)
Sure, let’s put this here. You know what this would probably look like. Masuda talked about it a little as an idea a while back. We know this will probably happen on Wii U.
Pokémon Dawn 2 and Pokémon Dusk 2 (4DS)
Remember how good the originals were? Remember how much we thought could be improved? This is the game you’ve been waiting for. Oh, and if you have the crappy old 3DS version, you can transfer everything to the 4DS version of D2D2.
Pokémon Stadium 3 (Wii U2)
I want another one of these. Give me all of the Pokémon, all of the Mega Evolutions, a weird playable TV version of the handheld games, a bunch of mini-games, and lots of towers with the same announcer commentating every single battle. I have no idea if this could ever happen thanks to handheld graphics now being at console levels, but I still want another. By the way, there’s a new Wii U now. Nintendo decided to keep the name.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon (4DS)
Let’s have another one of these too.
Pokémon Glee, Pokémon Sadness, and Pokémon Anger (4DS)
There are three versions, each of which is based on an emotion. Put it in Africa or something.
How do you see Pokémon moving forward? Do you want it to continue to be annualized or do you want it to take a break before we get games named after abstract concepts?