Get ready to catch 'em all over again as Nintendo's upcoming Pokémon game on the Switch now has a rumored release date.
After Ultra Sun and Moon did little to revamp its 2016 titles in 2017, fans are looking ahead to the first ever Pokémon game to come to the next-generation of consoles. Previously announced as "2018 0r later," it looks like Nintendo could be scrapping the "later" aspect of the Pokémon revival.
2018 is already shaping up to be a bumper year for the video game industry, and Pokémon could be set to join the likes of God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 on this year's roster of new releases. Industry insider Pixelpar claims that the next game in the long-running franchise will be coming in either November or December of this year:
For anyone wondering, Pokémon Switch materials have been undergoing localization since late Feb (possibly earlier).— Pixelpar (@pixelpar) April 13, 2018
I've already had confirmation that it's targeting a 2018 release. Educated guess (based on previous Pokémon localization timing) it should be ready for Nov/Dec
More excitingly though, there was a recent Reddit revelation that the Switch's title will also come with the unveiling of a new generation of Pokémon and some unique mechanics. If this is the case, it would debunk previous rumors that the game will be a remake of a classic Pokémon title. Suggesting that the new entry will retread the ground broken by the Kanto franchise, a previously-leaked screenshot seemed to show a player riding a Lapras. Hopefully, this won't be the case if Nintendo is planning on taking fans somewhere new.
Since the series began with Pokémon Red and Blue back in 1996, there have been some 76 games across the likes of Kanto, Johto, and Aloha. However, with a new batch of pocket monsters comes a whole new region too. Sources are yet to reveal where generation 8 will be set, but the mysterious project also now has a codename. While the official title is still a way off, get used to learning all about "Project Beluga":
DING DING DING.— Pixelpar (@pixelpar) April 14, 2018
"Bell" monitor. A white whale. Belugas make a high pitched 'twittering' noise.
(That's all your getting until the announcement) https://t.co/oeVPOIQRRk
Pokémon is best-known for its portable games, with only a handful of console titles like Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Snap making names for themselves. 2012's PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond was hardly the chart-topping success that it could've been on the Wii, so there are a lot of expectation for the Switch's game to perform well.
Alongside the likes of Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Pokémon promises to be one of the console's most important franchises. If the news is true, "Project Beluga" would be a major contender in the competitive Christmas market.
Nintendo has already teased some big announcements for the rest of the year , but where Pokémon fits into this remains to be seen. There is still no word on what (if anything) will be unveiled by Nintendo at E3. However, given that a Switch game was announced at last year's expo, the timing couldn't be better. If Pokémon is heading to an end of year release, E3 seems like a pretty good place to start the game's extensive marketing campaign.