The internet is in full speculation mode after Nintendo announced a special 8-minute Pokemon Direct, and we’re no different. Pokemon Stars is a huge contender, but there could be even more on the horizon for the Pokemon franchise.
Catch the Pokemon Direct Tuesday June 6 at 7am Pacific / 10am Eastern / 3pm UK / June 8 at 12am AEST, but in the meantime, here’s what we’re most expecting to see.
We learned about the third version of Pokemon Sun and Moon, codenamed Pokemon Stars, back in November 2016. Reportedly coming to the Nintendo Switch, Pokemon Stars was originally planned for a summer 2017 release, and has received increasing speculation over the last year. Game Freak was recruiting for a console game, after all.
We first saw Pokemon Sun and Moon announced during a Pokemon Direct last year in February, with a more in-depth look at the 3DS titles later at E3, so it’s a great possibility this is Nintendo’s strategy with Pokemon Stars as well. Considering the mainline Pokemon games are such phenomenal system sellers on their own, Nintendo may want to get this hyped announcement out before E3 as to not overshadow other plans. Plus, Nintendo and The Pokemon Company have historically never announced a mainline Pokemon game at E3, ever, making this as good a time as ever to give us confirmation of this highly anticipated title.
The third version of each mainline Pokemon game have always been released on the same system as its sister titles, so it’d be unprecedented if Pokemon Stars were to be released only on the Nintendo Switch. We may be getting a dual announcement, in both Pokemon Stars for the 3DS, and an enhanced Pokemon Stars for the Nintendo Switch.
Though this Pokemon Direct is a worldwide broadcast, it isn’t entirely uncommon for Nintendo Directs to provide slightly different announcements for different regions. Teased in late 2013 and was released in Japan last year in February, we haven’t heard much about the odd Detective Pikachu. We do know Legendary Pictures acquired the film rights to Pokemon and plans to produce a Detective Pikachu movie sometime this year, but will regions besides Japan get to play the game? We’re assuming yes, considering the niche Pokemon Conquest and others have seen shores abroad. After such a long wait, it only seems time to announce a localization.
Every mainline Pokemon predecessor has slowly received remakes, from Pokemon Red and Blue to most recently Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Though Pokemon Diamond and Pearl did launch on the Nintendo DS, perhaps it isn’t too soon for a updated version, considering it’s been a whole ten years since. Rather than Pokemon Stars, maybe Nintendo and The Pokemon Company will surprise us all with a Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remake for the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo has a plethora of Pokemon titles up its sleeve, including Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Pokken Tournament, the long-missed Pokemon Snap; and a variety of Pokemon puzzle titles like Pokemon Trozei and Pokemon Puzzle League. Tomorrow could be reserved for a number of games unrelated to the core series, and may even cover multiple smaller games over the course of the short 8-minute announcement.
Besides Pokemon on Nintendo consoles, we’ve already played Pokemon Duel and Pokemon: Magikarp Jump on mobile this year. Still to come are the release of PokeLand and a huge Pokemon Go update that will include PvP and Legendary Pokemon. It may be too soon to anticipate an entirely new, revamped core Pokemon game, but here are 4 Things We Want in a Pokemon Nintendo Switch Game.
Overall, there will be a massive amount of Pokemon to play this year, but what would you like to see announced tomorrow?
Casey DeFreitas is an Associate Editor at IGN and will eagerly play any Pokemon-related game announced tomorrow. Catch her on Twitter.