On Sunday, the Pokémon Company celebrated international Pokémon Day, the annual celebration of the franchise’s first releases in Japan, with a Pokémon Presents, almost 14 minutes of Pokémon news and game announcements. In less than 14 minutes, the Pokémon covered a lot of ground, but the last minute or so is getting the most attention. (And for good reason.)
Here’s what you might have missed in the latest Pokémon Presents.
Generation 9 Announcement
When I say no one saw it coming, I mean no one saw it coming.
In their “one-more-thing” moment, the Pokémon Company surprised the gaming world with the announcement of two new mainline games — and a return to hue-inspired naming conventions — Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet.
These two games are the mainline’s ninth generation, but the games look like they take a lot of inspiration from Pokémon Legends: Arceus. The well-defined routes that littered Pokémon world maps, from Red and Blue to Sword and Shield, are gone. But unlike Arceus, which featured large biomes separated by loading screens, the world of Scarlet and Violet appears to feature a vast open-world that blurs the line between towns and wild areas, a welcome improvement to the formula.
At the end of the trailer, we got a quick peek at generation nine’s starters, and at least one represents some of the most inspired monster designs we’ve seen from the Pokémon Company in several generations. The grass-type cat, Sprigatito, embodies so much of what makes starter Pokémon so charming — it’s cute and it has a unique look to it — but the cat-grass combo puts it over the top. Fuecoco, the fire crocodile, is okay. And Quaxly, the water duckling, reminds me a little too much of Ducklett.
All mainline Pokémon games are loosely based on real-world locations, and though it wasn’t officially confirmed in the trailer, the Internet has a guess about where this new region might be based: Spain. We’ll have to wait and see if that turns out to be true, but fans suspect that the starters give it away.
Before the Presents wrapped, the Pokémon Company hit us with another huge surprise: Scarlet and Violet will be coming in late 2022. To put that into context, that means that in just 2021 and 2022, the Pokémon Company will have released New Pokémon Snap, Pokémon UNITE, Pokémon Shining Pearl, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Pokémon Scarlet, and Pokémon Violet.
That’s a lot of Pokémon.
But there was more.
The Other Stuff
While the announcement of the ninth generation was the big news, the Pokémon Company also announced a few other things, too.
- Pokémon Go will be getting Pokémon from the Sun and Moon‘s Alola region on March 1.
- Shaymin is coming to Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl; players just need to talk to Professor Oak on Route 224.
- The Daybreak update for Pokémon Legends: Arceus has been released, adding more to the story.
- Pokémon Cafe ReMix players can log into the game for a celebratory Bulbasaur outfit and the chance to use the new delivery feature 11 times at no cost.
- Mythical Pokémon Hoopa has joined Pokémon Unite, and if you log in before March 14, you’ll get a free Pokémon Day hat and t-shirt in the game. Duraludon is confirmed to be the next Pokémon coming to the game.