A massive new Pokémon Trading Card Game expansion, new downloadable titles and a Super Bowl Ad are how cultural icon and Japanese video game titan Nintendo plan to celebrate one of gaming’s most legendary and enduring franchises. Nintendo revealed more about its plans to celebrate the Year of Pokémon this morning in press releases and more.
The Pokémon Company revealed more about how it plans to celebrate 20 Years of Pokémon this morning. Pokémon is the long-running series of role-playing games that debuted for the original Game Boy line of handheld consoles. The games have spawned everything from popular cartoons to a franchise of movies.
The festivities start with Nintendo bringing classic games from the franchise to the Nintendo 3DS handheld console. The first thing the company confirmed was that Pokémon Red Version, Pokémon Blue Version and Pokémon Blue Version release date. Each of the remakes will be available to purchase through the Nintendo eShop on February 27th. On February 7th, Nintendo will air an advertisement during the Super Bowl.
Besides the launch of these games, February 27th will also mark the release of the Nintendo 3DS Pokémon 20th Anniversary Bundle. The console will have special faceplates to celebrate the milestone and come with Pokémon Blue Version and Pokémon Red Version installed at no additional charge. Buyers also get a special menu theme that won’t be available anywhere else.
The fun for gamers doesn’t really stop there either. Nintendo is teaming up with GameStop and Toys’ R Us to offer special extras throughout the year. Anyone who visits GameStop with their console and copy of Pokémon Omega Ruby, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, Pokémon X or Pokémon Y during special events scattered throughout the year will receive a Mew, Darkrai, Arceus and Genesect. GameStop will hold one event for each character per quarter, according to todays press release.
For lovers of the Pokémon Trading Card Game there’s the special foil Pikachu and Magikarp cards from the new Pokémon Generations expansion. Shoppers get an activity book and a post with all of the original 151 Pokémon from the first generation of games. Toys R Us will be the only place to get a special folio book for all the new cards. Toy’s R Us’ festivities are also for February 27th.
11 different Mythical Pokémon Collections will get released during the 2016 calendar year. Separately four Pokémon: The Trading Card Game Red & Blue collections are coming. They focuse on members of the original 151 Pokémon creatures from the games. Generations, a massive expansion to the card game that includes Pikachu, Snorlax, Ninetales-EX, Jolteon-EX, Mega Charizard-Ex, Mega Blastoise-EX and Mega Venusaur-Ex.
Starting this month, the 12 different movies that make up the Pokémon franchise are all coming to iTunes, Google Play and Amazon for digital purchase. Three of the movies, Pokémon: The First Movie, Pokémon The Movie 2000 and Pokémon 3 will be remastered. Those same three movies will get licensed releases for DVD and Blu-ray players too. The Pokémon TV app for Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire and the web will “feature one film title per month,” the company says.
PokemonCenter will have toys, clothing and collectibles for those celebrating Pokémon Day and the Pokémon 20th Year Anniversary for sale all year-long too. Nintendo and the Pokémon Company are both working with video game developer Niantic to create Pokémon Go for release later this year. Nintendo first revealed Pokémon Go was in development last year. The Pokémon Go release date is in 2016, but we don’t know exactly when.
With the 20th Anniversary of Pokémon stacked with events, games and merchandise, Pokémon will seem like it’s everywhere in 2016.