It’s a big day for Pikachu and the rest of the Pokémon.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the popular franchise, which has spanned video games, collectible cards, TV shows, and more. On Friday, The Pokémon Company confirmed several new games for the Nintendo Switch, including remakes of the popular Nintendo DS titles Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl.
The original DS titles first launched simultaneously in 2006 for Nintendo’s handheld and featured Pokémon characters unique to each version.
The remakes for Switch, called Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl, will launch later this year.
The Pokémon Company also announced a new game, Pokémon Legends Arceus, an open-world game where players will capture and train creatures in the same setting as the Diamond and Pearl games, but in an earlier era. It launches in 2022.
“Trainers caught their first Pokémon in 1996 and began an adventure that has lasted 25 years,” said Tsunekazu Ishihara, president, and CEO of The Pokémon Company, in a statement. “Through eight regions, many different platforms, and countless Pokémon encounters, they have strived to be the very best.”
Pokémon’s 25 anniversary
The classic franchise surged in popularity in 1998 through games released on the Nintendo Game Boy, says The Pokémon Company, and has had a home on various Nintendo home consoles and handheld devices.
Most games feature a trainer capturing Pokémon creatures and training them to battle each other. Pokémon are based around different elements including water, air, or fire, that contribute to their abilities.
The video games helped spawn other offerings, including a trading card game and a variety of animated shows.
Pokémon surged in popularity in 2016 with the launch of the mobile game Pokémon Go, where players used augmented reality to spot Pokémon in their environment with a smartphone camera.
Since 2004, Pikachu is the most popular Pokémon to search on Google, with the exception of Maryland, where Celebi is the most searched.News Source: USA Today