Pokémon and Digimon were often seen as contemporary competitors in the realm of Japanese-monster-based-anime - with their similar names no doubt confusing parents at Christmas time and resulting in a lot of disappointed kids.
However, a Reddit fan theory suggests the two universes could be more intimately related than initially thought.
According to Reethk_Vaszune, Digimon's Digital World - which is connected to the human world via communication networks - could in fact be an extension of the Poké Center's PC system.
As I'm sure you know, Pokémon are stored, traded and transferred via a complex computer storage system. This system also allows you to release Pokémon via an unknown system, with Reethk_Vaszune explaining: "Where do they go? They're obviously being transferred somewhere, via PC, but where?"
Since the Pokémon are being transferred in files, it stands to reason that occasionally these files could become corrupted upon release. Therefore, instead of once again being transported into the safety of the long grass, they are instead unceremoniously dumped in a kind of "Pokémon-PC-equivalent of the recycling bin." Reethk_Vaszune continues:
I think that the Digimon universe is somehow interlinked or tapping into a networked quarantine PC directory for corrupted Pokémon files. There are a lot of glaring similarities between Pokémon and Digimon (affinity to elements, evolution process, etc.) If you look at the evolutionary process of digimon, it's initially very sporadic and uncontrolled (they revert backwards often) until they develop some mastery of the process; perhaps skilled Digimon are files that are being repaired/reconstructed?
Other Reddit users also got involved to add their support. For example, EnriqueTSB claims that the 'mon' suffix to all Digimon names could be a result of the computer's directory system:
This also fits in with the theory that Digimon names are all filenames with a .mon extension (Agu.mon, Pata.mon, etc). If you were building a PC system to store Pokémon, it would make sense to make the file extension .mon.
Of course, in reality, we all know this isn't the case since Pokémon and Digimon are not only owned by two different companies, but they are owned by rivals in the same entertainment sector. They simply do not share the same universe.
However, this still doesn't diminish the fact this a rather interesting take on the interplay between Pokémon and Digimon. Don't you think?