Yet another month begins to slip by without any concrete news from Nintendo regarding the existence of the long awaited Pokémon Z, nor any big revelations about a release date for the highly anticipated iOS and Andriod based Pokémon GO.
Sadly, it's looking like it's going to be a cold winter for the Pokéfans out there. And once again the baseless rumors start swirling...
A December Release Date!?
Each month rumors surface online that finally this will be the month that we'll get an official line from Nintendo regarding Pokemon Z or Pokémon GO, the latter of which is currently under development by augmented reality developers Niantic Inc. (creators of Ingress) in conjunction with The Pokémon Company.
The current big rumor is that Pokémon Z and/or Pokémon GO will be released this month in time for Christmas, which is beyond highly unlikely. It's a circle jerk of unfounded rumors based on the fact that we might get an announcement about the franchise in the December issue of CoroCoro (and we'll get to that).
We've already written about how it's actually not very likely that Pokémon Z and Pokémon GO will launch "early 2016", so the idea that they could release within the next two weeks with absolutely no prior warning is ridiculous, unless Nintendo have now reached the point where they've decided they don't need all that money anyway.
Let's Take A Look At Nintendo's Release Schedule Shall We?
So we're currently in the sixth generation of Pokémon games which started with Pokemon X and Y, went onto Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and also includes the upcoming Pokkén Tournament for Wii U.
Pokémon X and Y were announced on January 8, 2013 at a special Nintendo Direct by Satoru Iwata, the now sadly deceased CEO of Nintendo. They weren't released worldwide until October 12, 2013. That's a gap of 9 months and 4 days.
As for Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, they were announced via a teaser trailer from Nintendo on May 7, 2014. Their initial release in Japan, North America, and Australia was on November 21, 2014. That's 6 months and 14 days. Not quite as big a gap as Pokémon X and Y but still a hell of a lot more than a matter of weeks, and nicely in time for Christmas sales.
Looking back through the other fourth and fifth generation releases for the Nintendo DS and 3DS, there's never been a gap between announcement and release of less than five months, as was the case with the HeartGold and SoulSilver remakes.
The idea that Nintendo would just pop out a Pokémon game with no prior warning a matter of weeks before Christmas is ludicrous, so let's stop buying into that shall we?
I'd be happy to be wrong about this, but all signs point to a release date still months away and well into 2016, if 2016 at all. In fact following the past release schedules the earliest we can expect Pokémon Z would probably be sometime in May, but even that seems unlikely for a game as anticipated as this has been.
So yeah we could be a few days off from getting some big news, as the November issue of CoroCoro Comic, the Japanese monthly manga and games magazine and one of the leading sources of Pokéinformation (okay, I made that word up) featured an announcement that big Pokémon related news would be coming in the December issue.
Big Pokémon news? It must be something to do with either Pokémon Z or Pokemon GO right? Well... The December issue actually usually discusses the annual Pokémon movie, so I wouldn't go counting all those chickens before they've hatched.
On the other hand, said December issue is set to release in Japan next week, on the 15th December. The same day as the next Nintendo Direct video address. Coincidence? Maybe not! Fingers crossed.
'Pokémon GO' Still In Beta
As for Pokémon GO, despite rumors of a February 27, 2016 release (which are conjecture at best) all we really know about the upcoming AR game is that it's set to be released sometime next year.
Back when Pokémon GO was first announced we learned from the Ingress Report (mobile game Ingress being the other big property of developers Niantic Inc.) that it would undergo closed beta testing over the winter with a release date sometime in 2016. It's hard to say for sure until we receive an official line from Nintedo, but it's likely that Pokémon GO won't exit beta testing until after the New Year.
In true Nintendo fashion we're not going to find out anything until they want us to know, so it could continue to be a long wait as we head into winter with still no news. But there is still that special installment of Nintendo Direct set to stream live on December 15th though, so maybe we'll get some news then.
Take pity on us Nintendo, take pity.