Late last night, a special Pokémon press conference was livestreamed which touched upon many aspects of the powerhouse franchise, including new games, stores, and related memorabilia. It also featured a wide variety of guests that have helped develop these avenues.
The biggest, and arguably most exciting, aspect of the conference was the announcement of several new games that will be reaching new regions, most notably China. In fact, it was announced that China would be receiving Pokémon Quest soon.
A Detective Pikachu sequel was not announced, but a new Detective Pikachu game was announced for the Nintendo Switch. The new game will resolve the “cliffhanger” ending of the first Detective Pikachu game, but nobody was calling it a sequel, exactly. It was teased that the ending of this game, or at least the story that was begun in the first Detective Pikachu game, will be resolved differently than the way it is in the film. No release date was given for this maybe-sequel.
Another mobile Pokémon game was announced as well. First, we had Pokémon Go, now we’ve got… Pokémon Sleep! There wasn’t too much information given about this game yet, but users will be rewarded for the amount of time they sleep and for things like when they wake up in the day. This will be tracked by a new piece of hardware called the Pokémon Go Plus Plus.
The hope is that it will promote healthy sleeping habits, much as Pokémon Go promoted exercise. Pokémon Sleep and the Pokémon Go Plus Plus will be monitoring your REM cycles starting in 2020. Snorlaxes will be appearing more frequently in Pokémon Go for a limited time as well to celebrate this announcement.
Junichi Masuda of Game Freak also took the stage for a short period of time to talk about how Pokémon has expanded into a much broader world than he and his team could have imagined back in the early nineties. He also mentioned how many players have beloved Pokémon that they have tirelessly transferred from game to game, reaching all the way back to 2002’s Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire. Things have recently gotten much easier thanks to the Pokémon Bank app on the 3DS.
However, Masuda revealed that things are about to get even easier for Switch users. In “early 2020,” users will be able to transfer Pokémon Bank, Pokémon Go, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! and Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Pokémon to a new cloud service known as the Pokémon Home. The Pokémon can be sent between the Switch games or just kept in their “Home” for safekeeping and global trading. Mobile devices are integral to this app’s functionality.
The last game-related announcement had to do with DeNa’s Pokémon Masters mobile game. The game will be bringing back all past and present movers and shakers in the Pokémon world. Art and gameplay clips show off past masters and champions like Gary Oak, Cynthia, Lance, Misty, Stephen, and more. Pokémon Masters will be released for iOS and Android later this year, with more information promised for June.
Finally, there were a couple of merchandise-related announcements. Singapore’s flagship Pokémon store was announced, as well as the opening of a new store in Shibuya, Japan, in Fall 2019. There was a mock-up video of the new Shibuya store, and it was teased that the “newest technology” would be used to create a “new Pokémon Center experience that visitors will want to tell their friends and family about.”
Even some merchandise got some specific love as well. In January, it was announced that a clothing line featuring the first 151 Pokémon would be hitting clothing racks in Japan. Now we know that this highly customizable clothing line will also be making it to North America and Europe at some point in the future. More details were promised at “a later date.”
Finally, several segments of this conference reminded fans to watch the June 5 and Nintendo E3 presentations for more Pokémon information. We learned so much last night that it almost feels greedy to get more so soon!