Pokémon Day reveal reignites Switch 2 rumours

A character in a purple suit of armour and and character in a yellow suit of armour stand in front of a foreboding purple sky. To their right, Pikachu, a small, yellow, rodent creature with rosy red cheeks, wears a white sailor's hat with black brim. All look poised for action.Niantic

To those who celebrate, it’s Pokémon Day.

The annual showcase lays out the company’s plans for the series over the next year.

And fans found out that the next title, Pokémon Legends: Z-A, will launch for Nintendo Switch in 2025.

News of the release date immediately ignited speculation that the game could be an early title on the as-yet unconfirmed sequel to its popular console.

It’s been widely reported that the new machine could launch next spring despite the lack of an official announcement.

But a reference to a “simultaneous” release in the game’s trailer, and mention of multiple “Switch systems” in a tweet from the Pokémon Company, convinced many the secret was out.

In response, others pointed out that there are different versions of the original console already.

BBC Newsbeat’s asked Nintendo to clarify whether simultaneous release refers to multiple countries or multiple systems.

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The most recent entries in the series, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, were criticised for performance issues after their launch in 2022.

And the explosive release of Palworld – described as “Pokémon with guns” – earlier this year led some fans to suggest the original series had gone stale.

But the response to Pokémon Legends: Z-A has been fairly positive.

A brief two-minute teaser shows a computer-generated Pikachu running through a wireframe version of a city.

The camera then cuts away to reveal silhouettes of other Pokémon frolicking in locations including cafes, plazas and a river.

After pulling back to a bird’s eye-view of the circular city, with an Eiffel Tower-like structure at its centre, the video reveals the game is set in Lumiose City.

In the final seconds of the trailer a rainbow-coloured S-shape forms on-screen – instantly recognisable to Pokémon fans as the symbol for mega evolutions.

The prospect of the popular feature – which allows players to transform Pokémon into super-charged versions – got some very excited.

During the event a new app version of the popular Pokémon Trading Card Game was announced, along with updates to Pokémon Go and other spin-offs.

But the 2025 release for Pokémon Legends: Z-A means that the Nintendo Switch’s release calendar is looking quiet.

It released Mario Vs. Donkey Kong to “generally favourable” reviews this month, and Princess Peach: Showtime! arrives in March.

But beyond remakes of Luigi’s Mansion 2 and role-playing game Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Nintendo hasn’t announced further in-house titles.

Nintendo says it’s sold almost 140 million Switch consoles since its 2017 release – more than a reported 117 million PlayStation 4s worldwide.


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