Something entirely new for the main Pokémon video game franchise happened Saturday, or Sunday in Japan time: Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. That?s right: Nintendo has announced direct sequels to Pokémon Black and White. Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 will be released for the DS (not the 3DS), and will be released in Japan in June of 2012 with no announced dates for international releases. The Pokémon advertised for the sequels seem to be the evolved version of the previous Pokémon from Black and White, Reshiram and Zekrom. The news was first revealed on February 26th during a Japanese airing of the TV show ?Pokémon: Smash?. The news then rolled out on many Nintendo sites. Want some speculation on all this from yours truly? Read more, friend!
As a fan of (old) Pokémon, I have a few things to say about this: One, Pokémon: Smash? What? I did a little googling and it?s apparently a Pokémon themed variety show in Japan. Crazy. Two, this is the first time the main video game franchise has gotten a direct sequel, and I?m curious to see how that will turn out for Game Freak and Nintendo. I have never played Pokémon Black or White, but I always had the intention, and I sure will be playing it now, though nothing has been said as to whether the story of the first games will continue into the next games. Pokémon has had a history of creating new regions with new characters and dozens, hundreds of new Pokémon, but since this is their first direct sequel, anything goes.
Third, yes you read those words right, it?s coming out for the DS and NOT the 3DS. My first reaction to this was one of frustration. The first Black and White releases were so close to the launch of the 3DS, and that system would?ve sold better had Pokémon been a launch title. The system may not be $169.99 right now if that had happened. But now they?ve gained some steam with the 3DS, and they decide to not release it for the 3DS again?! It?s hard to sell your newest portable system if the franchise that made the Game Boy and subsequent systems popular does not make an appearance on it!
I took a step back from that initial frustration, inhaled a deep breath, and looked again. Nintendo, though they have made some Cubone moves in the past (Bone-headed? Cubone? Eh?), they are not this dumb. There must be a reason that they decided to take this route, because from the consumer perspective, this mistake seems way too obvious. Maybe they?re going for game sales rather than portable sales; there are a ton more DS?s out there, and by making this a game that the common, 3DS-less gamer can play, the game will sell more for Nintendo than it would making it exclusive to the 3DS. And it?s not like the 3DS crowd is left out of the fun either, it?s just one less incentive for someone to buy a 3DS.
This is also just the initial announcement, and more details will be revealed in the months to come. It will certainly be interesting to see how Game Freak entices gamers to play this, since there have so far been only two Pokémon announced, and a possible continuation of the first games? story. Keep glued to The Gamer Access for more news on this and other developments. And if you?d like to share your thoughts and ideas about this story, please leave a comment below.