Detective Pikachu will be released in Japan next month.
Way back in 2013, we heard about a Pikachu spin-off Nintendo was developing, which would see the yellow rat turned into a detective. Now, it has officially announced the new game with a live action CGI trailer, and surprising us all by announcing the game's Japanese release for February 3.
The trailer shows Pikachu donning Sherlock Holmes's famous deerstalker cap, walking around a city, talking to suspects (in a very non-Pikachu style voice), and doing other detective work. The player acts as Pikachu's trainer, and will team up with him to solve mysteries. Nintendo is billing the game as a "cinematic adventure".
Back when we first heard about the game, Nintendo was talking about using facial recognition technology for the game's Pikachu. Given the range of emotions on Detective Pikachu's face, I think it's safe to say that they pulled it off.
The game will be released at the low price of 1,500 yen (about $20) on the Nintendo eShop. There's no word on a western release for Detective Pikachu right now, but we have reached out to Nintendo of America for clarification.
Source: The Pokemon Company Japan