Nintendo will be making a "shock announcement" on Pokemon Sunday this week about the next generation of its mammoth (or should that be Mamoswine?) monster-catching franchise.
With Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver now out worldwide, the sun is setting on the series' excellent Generation IV. Of course, Nintendo won't be letting one of its flagship properties just end, even on such a high note - we already knew that there was going to be a fifth generation of the series, and it looks like we may have an official announcement this weekend.
The listing for this week's upcoming episode of Pokemon Sunday on the TV Tokyo website may be all in Japanese, but a quick run through Google Translate reveals this tidbit plain and simple, right at the beginning: "×× new Pokemon game is finally revealed!" There's some other stuff there that I'm fairly certain isn't related to the new Pokemon games (unless they star someone named Sandwich Man, but it's been a while since I took Japanese), but that's the important gist of it.
Of course, according to someone who actually speaks Japanese, the title of the listing mentions a "shock announcement" about the series. I may be a huge Pokemon fan, but I'm a bit skeptical here: What could possibly be shocking about the announcement of a new game in one of Nintendo's most lucrative franchises?
Will there be roughly a hundred new monsters to catch? Almost certainly. Will the new games somehow break from the standard formula that has served the series so well for fourteen years? Probably not. As of the Gen IV titles, the Pokemon gameplay has been all but perfected - I don't really know where they could go from here other than just give us more Pokemon (maybe introduce another elemental type, perhaps?) but I'm actually kind of okay with that.
It's a safe bet to assume that, "shock announcement" or no, this new Generation V Pokemon title will be on the 3DS. Every successive Pokemon generation has been on a new handheld platform, after all: Generation I (Red/Blue/Yellow) was on the Game Boy, Generation II (Gold/Silver/Crystal) was on the Game Boy Color, Generation III (Ruby/Sapphire/etc.) was on the Game Boy Advance, and Generation IV was the DS.
Actually, given the timing of their respective announcements, it's possible that the new Pokemon games could be launch titles for the 3DS - at least in Japan, anyway. Talk about your killer apps, huh?
We'll know more this Sunday. Until then, we can only speculate - but what would you like to see in the next Pokemon generation?