Pokémon Direct Confirms Pokemon Sun and Moon, and Invites China to Play

Pokémon Direct Confirms Pokemon Sun and Moon, and Invites China to Play

Nintendo's short presentation coveres new Pokémon, old Pokémon, and quietly reaches out to Chinese players. Get ready to make thousands of new friends!

If you live on the west coast and you woke up at seven in the morning to catch Nintendo's Pokémon Direct, you were probably relieved to learn you could crawl back into bed a mere six minutes later. The video presentation was on the short side, to say the least, but it delivered some pretty significant information.

First, the seventh generation of Pokémon is indeed on its way. Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are confirmed, and they're coming to the Nintendo 3DS in the 2016 holiday season. Though I speculated Sun and Moon would show up on the NX and not the aging 3DS, I've come to realize that was a dumb prediction. After all, late-generation Pokémon releases are Nintendo's surefire way of getting a few more years out of old hardware. The original Game Boy games stand as proof.

Second, Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow are hitting the 3DS Virtual Console tomorrow, and the games are compatible with the Pokémon Bank storage / transport system. Ultimately, this means you'll be able to transfer your Red, Blue, and Yellow Pokémon to Sun and Moon when the time comes.

Third, Pokémon Sun and Moon will be available in nine languages at launch: English, Japanese, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. Language options usually aren't big video game news, but the availability of Chinese on Sun and Moon's launch day is important.

That's because to date, none of the Pokémon games have received official Chinese translations. China will be playing with the rest of the world this holiday season, potentially infusing hundreds of thousands of new players, traders, and battlers into the community in one go. Doubtlessly China lifting its game console ban in 2014 makes the globalization process a little easier for Nintendo.

It's still hard to say how readily China will latch onto Sun and Moon, as PC and mobile are the gaming systems of choice in the country. But fan hacks and builds have helped keep the franchise alive in the country even without official game releases, so China probably won't hesitate to stuff Bidoofs into the Wonder Trade system alongside the rest of the world.

Despite the density of the news it delivered, the Nintendo Pokémon Direct still admittedly left some fans feeling hollow. The biggest reason is the fact we know nothing about Pokémon Sun and Moon except for the fact it exists, and it's coming this holiday season.

There's so much we want to know about the games. Does it use Pokémon X and Y's engine, or has it been overhauled? How many new Pokémon are present? What kind of tweaks are being made for the competitive scene? What's the story about? Why aren't Pokémon real yet? Why can't I bury my fingers in Arcanine's mane and go thundering across the rolling hills?

Answers are surely coming. It's just a matter of when. Will we roll out of bed for another Nintendo Pokémon Direct in the near future? Or is Nintendo on track to have one of its busiest, most hype-fueled E3 showings in years?

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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