The world of Pokemon has continued to expand in the years following the release of Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue on the Game Boy, but loyal followers still nostalgically reflect upon the original titles and herald them as the best the series has ever seen. It’s for this very reason that releasing the initial pair of games on Nintendo’s Virtual Console – making them playable on the Wii U – would make a lot of sense, but The Pokemon Company isn’t so sure.
During this year’s E3, Nintendo hosted a developers roundtable for the upcoming Pokemon X and Y, which the Big N was kind enough to extend us an invite to. During the question and answer portion of the roundtable, one journalist managed to beat me to a question I myself was just about to ask: “Is there any possibility of the original Pokemon Red and Blue being available on the Virtual Console?”
Unfortunately, Tsunekazu Ishihara, President and CEO of The Pokemon Company, stated (through a translator) that his team had “concerns” over bringing the games to the Virtual Console — albeit while referring to bringing the classic games to a home console.
“We believe Pokemon is really best on the handhelds, so we’re always very careful when it comes to the topic of, you know, putting a Pokemon game on a home console, for example, that isn’t a handheld. It’s something we’re thinking very carefully about. If we were to put it on Virtual Console on a home console, for example, what would you do with the Pokemon you got? They’d be kinda stuck to that, [so that] is one of the concerns we have.”
Mr. Ishihara didn’t rule out the possibility of Pokemon Red and Blue eventually making their way to the 3DS at some point, but he did bring up a valid point. It’s not hard to imagine that the team responsible for bringing the Game Boy classics to the Virtual Console could make the games capable of interacting with one another — similarly to the recently released The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages — and making trading and battling locally would also be somewhat mandatory.
Still, fans would love to be able to transfer any one of the original 150 Pokemon over to the forthcoming Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, something that obviously isn’t possible at this point in time, so maybe Tsunekazu has some valid reasoning for keeping Red and Blue off of the Virtual Console. If not for that reason, then maybe The Pokemon Company and Game Freak are waiting to remake the games once more at some point down the road.
What do you think, Ranters? Would you buy the original Pokemon Red and Blue on the 3DS or Wii U Virtual Console?
You can follow Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.