Franchise makes it first appearance on Nintendo’s newest system, and also offers a return trip to the Alola region on 3DS.
Nintendo’s marketing is specialized enough that the company has its own series of online product presentations, called Nintendo Direct. Among the video game publisher’s properties, though, the Pokémon franchise has grown so large that it warrants a special online event, which the company has termed Pokémon Direct.
As the first major batch of Pokémon announcements since the launch of the Switch, fans were hoping that Nintendo would be unveiling plans to bring Pokémon to its newest piece of hardware, and the company did just that. However, the franchise’s Switch debut won’t come with a mainline Pokémon, but with an upgraded version of the Pokkén Tournament fighting game developed with Bandai Namco.
Titled Pokkén Tournament DX, the Switch fighter ups the playable character count from 16 to 21, adding new combatants Darkrai, Scizor, Empoleon, Croagunk, and, from most recent Pokémon installment Sun and Moon, Decidueye.
▼ Video of Pokkén Tournament DX, which Nintendo says will be playable at next week’s E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles
For those who’re still enjoying Nintendo’s older hardware, Nintendo also revealed a new pair of Pokémon games for the 3DS: Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
▼ Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
Ostensibly enhanced versions of 2016’s Pokémon Sun and Moon, the developers promise a new story arc and Pokémon species not found in the original, non-ultra versions of the games.
▼ The English-subtitled version of the concept video for the new games
While Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon isn’t the first time for the Pokémon series to revisit the same region, this repeat performance comes much more quickly than its predecessors. Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen arrived eight years after the standard Red and Green, HeartGold and SoulSilver a decade after Gold and Silver, and Omega Ruby and Alpha Saphire 12 years after Ruby and Saphire. Unlike those full remakes, though, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon appear to be simply content additions to Sun and Moon, although Nintendo hasn’t mentioned any way for existing Sun and Moon owners to enjoy these additions without ponying up for the new games in their entirety.
Nintendo has set the Japanese release date for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon as November 17, and considering how conscientious the company has become in not keeping gamers elsewhere waiting, a worldwide launch on or around that date seems likely. Pokkén Tournament DX is slated to come out on September 22, hopefully by which time stores’ Switch supplies will be able to keep up with customer demand.