The official Pokemon website has recently announced that big news is coming on January 8th. This comes just an hour or two after the official Japanese Pokemon website posted an update about it. What does this mean? We'll find out for sure on January 8th (possibly midday January 7th, due to the time difference in Japan), but whatever it is, it is likely to be a major announcement.
The announcements of Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2 were held in a similar manner, with both the international and Japanese sites making a simultaneous announcement about the new games.
There are a few possibilities of what they're planning on announcing. I'm going to give my opinion on three different possibilities I've been hearing a lot about regarding what these games could be.
In October 2011, Junichi Masuda replied to a tweet asking about remaking Ruby and Sapphire, essentially saying that Ruby and Sapphire were important and he wanted to make something good. While this is not at all definitive, a lot of people felt that it was an indicator of the next games to be made. The world received Black 2 and White 2 instead, but there is still a base of people that would like to see Ruby and Sapphire remade, so perhaps this could be the big announcement.
The problem with this theory is that it would still be a part of Generation V if it were made on the Nintendo DS. While there's nothing directly wrong with that, it means that it will remain on the Nintendo DS instead of moving to the advanced hardware of the Nintendo 3DS, and we will be stuck for three years without a main series Pokemon game on the Nintendo 3DS (assuming Generation VI gets pushed to 2014). Additionally, several of the key Hoenn Pokemon were given away in Generation IV and V already — Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip, Groudon, Kyogre and Rayquaza were all available in HeartGold and SoulSilver, while Latias, Latios, Regirock, Regice and Registeel were available in Black 2 and White 2.
One of the other main possibilities is that the announcement will be unveiling Generation VI, or the 6th Generation of Pokemon games. With the Nintendo DS being over 8 years old and carrying two generations of Pokemon games on it already, Generation VI will almost certainly be for the Nintendo 3DS. The Nintendo 3DS will turn two years old this Spring and has yet to have a main series Pokemon game on it. While it would make for a short Generation V, Generation V was more about refreshing the series, so having just the Black and White series of games on it would be akin to the first generation's Red and Blue.
They must be getting close to having a fully 3D world, too, with battles shown in 3D similar to Pokemon XD Gale of Darkness or Pokemon Battle Revolution, except higher quality and on a handheld system. The 3D models of the Pokemon already exist in Pokedex 3D Pro. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity has proven that there can be solid gameplay with rich 3D graphics on the Nintendo 3DS. The technology is already mostly there, so why wait another year for it?
One of the main problems with this theory is that it would make for a short Generation V — just three years in Japan, assuming it is released around October. While that isn't extremely short, it does still differ from the recent four year cycle Pokemon.
Before the announcement of Black 2 and White 2, most people were thinking the "big announcement" was going to be for Pokemon Gray. The second most likely theory then was Ruby and Sapphire remakes. Both of these theories turned out to be wrong. Pokemon has a tendency to surprise the fans, so they very well may do that again.
Anyone up for Black 3 and White 3? Ruby 2 and Sapphire 2? Still holding on to Pokemon Gray as a possibility? Or what if it's just something else entirely different (but still on Generation V, of course)? It's highly doubtful that it will be just a spinoff game, since they had the perfect opportunity to do that with Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.
What do YOU think?
It's all speculation at this point, but what do you think the big announcement will be on the 8th? Go on and leave a comment with your thoughts and your reason why!