Bellevue, WA – April 2nd, 2014 – The Pokémon Company and Nintendo announced today, via secret Nintendo Direct, that the Year of Pikachu had begun. With this announcement came the unveiling of multiple exciting projects from Nintendo, including Pokémon U: an all new 3D-interactive Pokémon adventure designed exclusively for Wii U; Pokémon Snap 2: the sequel to the surprise-hit 1999 Nintendo 64 rail-shooter, also exclusively for Wii U; and the Pokédex App: a phone and 3DS app designed to allow consumers to take exciting Pokémon selfies.
“We really just decided to stop beating around the bush,” said Tsunekazu Ishihara, CEO of the Pokémon Company. “We received a call from [Nintendo President] Mr. Iwata saying, ‘all right, Microsoft and Sony have had their fun’, let’s go ahead and win this thing.’”
“Get ready to graduate to the big leagues with Pokémon U, we’ve brought the best-selling formula from the handheld series onto your Wii U. Gone is the need for two versions, every Pokémon in existence – plus one hundred brand new additions – will be present in this game. With U, think ‘Universe’, meaning the option online multiplayer will be included as well. Now, Pokémon fans across the globe can discover the secrets of Pokémon games and can collect, battle, and trade with each other immediately – all for the first time on a Nintendo console!”
The Nintendo Direct showcased footage of two people battling each other – each from the comfort of their own living room. The Wii U gamepad is reported to function as the new Pokédex U: a device that trainers will take with them as they explore the Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Kalos regions. The gamepad will also utilize its camera feature, allowing players to photograph their faces to create their own miis to serve as their Pokémon trainers. No release date was given.
With the spotlight on Pokémon U, Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime appeared to announce the next game, Pokémon Snap 2.
“In 1999, lightning struck,” Fils-Aime began, “I mean who could have guessed it? Pokémon Snap was so much better than Pokémon Stadium – and we made a few sequels to that. Well, my body is ready and so is my camera. For the first time ever, players around the world will be able to travel the world of Pokémon, taking photos with their Wii U gamepad and uploading them to the Miiverse. This time Professor Oak won’t get to be the only judge as your friends and family will have the ability to rate every picture you take. I am very excited to announce Pokemon Snap 2, available exclusively on the Nintendo Wii U eShop – today.”
Retail price for Pokemon Snap 2 was revealed to be $19.99 USD.
In the closing moments of the Nintendo Direct, images flashed on screen. Reggie Fils-Aime with a Psyduck, Satoru Iwata with a Charizard, and Tsunekazu Ishihara with an Entei. Shigeru Miyamoto then appeared holding a cell phone. He snapped a selfie – only to have it appear behind him – featuring Pikachu on his shoulder.
“In this Year of Pikachu, everyone will be able to be a Pokémon master,” Miyamoto declared proudly. “When we first announced we were exploring mobile apps, people panicked. I am delighted to assure our fans today that Nintendo will only be using this technology to further the spread of our beloved icons. The Pokédex App is the first part of that plan. Using your phone, or Nintendo 3DS system, you will be able to take a ‘selfie’ of yourself with your favorite Pokémon by your side. Choose the type and pose; you can even have it performing an attack. The Pokédex App will be available soon – and we are delighted to announce that it will be free.”
These three exciting announcements took the show today at Nintendo Direct, but several other upcoming features were teased for a later date, including:
- A summer release date for Super Smash Bros. Bout (formerly Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS)
- A summer release date for Bayonetta 2.
- A late-spring release for the Nintendo eBank: a new service that allows Nintendo fans to back up all electronic purchases to a secure Nintendo website.
- A future Nintendo Direct for June 11th, when phase two of the Year of Pikachu will be unveiled.
The Nintendo Direct closed with a statement from Satoru Iwata:
“We at Nintendo would like to thank our fans for their patience with the start of the Wii U and the Year of Luigi. We know it has been a slow start but now, with the Year of Pikachu, we are confident that shockingly good days await us. There is no better game library than the one controlled by Nintendo, we are confident that we will be able to bring you the unparalleled best in terms of first-party games. Or you could re-buy The Last of Us for $60 more dollars this summer. Totally your call.”
More information can be found at http://nintendo.com.uk.ja.nebraska/LateAprilFoolsDayPrank/Seriously?WhoPutsOutSomethingonthe2nd?
Happy April Fools Day everyone, sorry my prank this year is kind of sad (this would be such a wonderful announcement if it was real – and Nintendo holds the full ability to make it so). I had intended to publish yesterday but had to postpone due to a minor surgery (totally fine, no need to worry). The benefit of that was that today’s article was written with the magic of painkillers! Don’t know if it was fun to read, but it sure as hell was fun to write.