Nintendo announces a special edition 20th Pokemon 3DS that pays homage to the first games in the franchise, Pokemon Red and Blue, for the series’ 20th anniversary.
When Pokemon was first unveiled to the Western world, it resulted in some immediate confusion and a general consensus amongst critics that the games would struggle to find its footing outside of Japan. But when Pokemon hit American shores on September 28th in 1998, gamers flocked to the monster-collecting series, propelling the series from an underdog property into a worldwide phenomenon. The first two games in the series, Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue, introduced gamers to the “gotta catch ‘em all” ethos, sending gamers scrambling to nab every Snorlax and Rattata that crossed their paths. TV shows, movies, fast food toys, and board games followed, and the gaming world was never the same.
Now, in honor of Pikachu and company’s 20th anniversary, Nintendo is releasing a special edition New Nintendo 3DS that pays homage to the two games that kickstarted the worldwide phenomenon. Set to release on February 27th (marking the day the games launched in Japan), the Pokemon branded portable will come pre-installed with virtual console versions of Pokemon Red, Blue, and the Pikachu-centric Yellow, as well as exclusive faceplates that can be attached to the system that feature the art used on the box art for Pokemon Red and Blue.
Japanese gamers looking to celebrate Pokemon’s milestone will have slightly different options to pick from, with Nintendo offering themed 2DS consoles for Red, Blue, Yellow, and the Japanese exclusive Green.
Fans looking to relive Pokemon’s humble beginnings that aren’t looking to buy all new systems will be able to purchase Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow separately on February 27th from the 3DS eShop. Which is, admittedly, a much more affordable way of reliving the nostalgia-filled RPGs.
Nintendo has its sights set on making 2016 the year of Pokemon, with a new character planned for the fighting game spin-off Poken Tournament, the original Pokemon trading cards getting a re-release, and a planned re-release of the best selling Pokemon amiibo – just to name a few.
Fans both new and old will have plenty to enjoy for Pokemon’s storied 20th birthday, and with Pokemon Go coming in the future, things continue to look bright for the beloved series.