Back in the mid-90s I don't think anyone anticipated just how widely popular the Pokemon franchise would become; what started as two games for the original handheld Gameboy now spans multi-platform video games, trading card games, animated television shows, movies, comic books, toys and other merchandise. But here we are, running out of alphabet, and those of us old enough to remember the original 150 can mutter under our breaths about the youngun's and their Generation VI and their 721 pokemon and their character's roller blades (which are actually a lot of fun).
It came as a bit of a surprise to find ourselves drawing closer to the end of another year without any news on the Pokemon front. Since the franchise started back in 1996 this is the first year that a new game (or spin-off, like Pokemon Pinball or Rumble Blast) hasn't been released under the franchise title.
Where's our Pokemon Z?
Rumours about Pokemon Z have been batted around for a while with still no official confirmation from Nintendo about when we can expect to see the next core instalment in the series.
All we have right now is rumours. LazyGamer.net speculated that the next release would be a compilation game the likes of Emerald and Platinum, whilst NintendoWorldReport think that the Eternal Flower Floette (the Pokemon that AZ is trying to unite with in Pokemon X & Y) is likely to make an appearance as a catchable character.
Japan's upcoming Pokemon film, Mega Evolution Act IV, looks as though it's going to be centred around dragon/ground-type legendary Pokemon - Zygarde. Given that the movies are usually done as tie-ins to promote the games, it's not a stretch to say that the images we've seen so far could give us a clue as to what we'll see in the next game.
One of the lesser-powered legendaries introduced in Generation IV (found in the Terminus Cave in X&Y) Zygarde is currently the last Pokemon in the alphabetical Pokedex. He appears in the middle background on the main poster above, and many have speculated that the dark shadowy figure to the right of the image is the Mega-Evolved form of Zygarde, which is as of yet unseen.
Pokemon "Bolt Yellow"?
Rumours have been circulating for ages now that we're going to get a 3D remake of what was my favourite Pokemon game as a kid, Pokemon Yellow. Pokemon Yellow featured the same base format as Red and Blue, but included the electric-mouse Pikachu (based on the massively popular character from the original 1997 Pokemon TV series) as your starter.
This Pikachu didn't like pokeballs, so it followed you around everywhere and made little comments on the environment from time to time. It was also the first game that made it possible to collect all three original starter Pokemon (Bulbasaur, Charmander & Squirtle) without trading, so there was that too.
Nintendo are the king of remakes, and they really know how to market themselves; I bought my 3DS solely on the strength of the Ocarina of Time 3D remake (and later Majora's Mask 3D - which was also amazing). Re-releasing a 3D version of Pokemon Yellow would no doubt interest those who haven't played the franchise in a while, as well as continuing to appeal to new players along the same lines of Pokemon Z.
For now though, as usual, we'll just have to wait and see what they come out with.