With Pokémon Black and White set for a March release, and already out and breaking records in Japan, many gamers have begun speculating in regards to the future of the hugely popular franchise, specifically if we will ever see another console version. Speaking with Junichi Masuda, co-founder of GameFreak and director on Black and White, IGN probed as best they could and never got an answer that the fans would like.
Essentially, as Masuda sees it, the Pokémon franchise has always and will always continue to be a series that finds the greatest success in the handheld market. By way of its very nature, the pick up and play mentality of handheld consoles compliments the bite-sized structure of Pokémon.
“I think the Pokémon core series is always going to be with handheld hardware, in the future as well. I consider handheld hardware you can carry around with you as almost being equal to being with Pokémon, always. I think handheld really matches the idea of Pokémon that we have. Also, you can communicate and transfer data all the time, whenever you want with a handheld. That’s also a match with the Pokémon concept.”
Gamers will be quick to point out that there were Pokémon titles that did exist on home consoles, namely the Pokémon Stadium and Colosseum titles, but those were little more than battle-centric experiences. Those titles to which Masuda is referring are the ones the fans go crazy for – ones that are more RPG in nature.
Sure to upset many fans with his nay saying, Masuda did do a little bit of backtracking so as to not completely alienate the possibility of a Pokémon title on a console. It would take the right idea, and the right console, but Masuda is not averse to the idea saying:
“Obviously the home console allows people to get together, for parties, and those sorts of things. Maybe in the future, if we can think of a way to do something cool with that, then that’s the sort of environment we can work in.”
Though Masuda can see a world in which the Wii, or perhaps the successor to the Wii, will feature a Pokémon title, it will only be if the console itself becomes much more portable. Although Masuda does not count out the possibility of the Wii being used as a HUB for groups of Pokémon players to interact or for more titles, perhaps like the one recently announced to be in development, that cater to a multiplayer experience, he just doesn’t see the Pokémon franchise stepping away from its roots.
With the 3DS also set for release this spring, chances of Pokémon hitting the Wii just got that much slimmer. Wanting to stay competitive and make use of the stunning new glasses-less technology, Nintendo has already unveiled that a title is on the way for the hot new console.
Like Justin Bieber, Masuda never said never when it came to bringing the Pokémon franchise to a home console, instead only reiterating that the core franchise will keep its roots in handhelds for the foreseeable future. Perhaps if the next Wii can make leaps and bounds in areas of portability, much like it did in controller functionality, then Pokémon fans will finally get their chance to catch ‘em all on the big screen.
How would you feel if a true Pokémon title came to a home console like the Wii? Do you think that a Pokémon title would be successful on a home console?