Almost exactly one year ago, the originator of crowd-powered gaming, Twitch Plays Pokemon, managed to catch all 151 of the Pokemon the project set out to catch. Considering the special bond that Twitch has with Pokemon, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it is doing something special for the franchise’s 20th birthday.
Pokemon Day is this Saturday, February 27, and while festivities will be held around the world, you don’t need to leave the comfort of your home to get involved. Starting at 10 am ET, the official Pokemon Twitch channel will kick off a celebration of its own, streaming Pokemon games, hosting discussions and interviews, and providing other coverage. The Pokemon website mentions this is for “fans of all ages,” so be sure to be on your best behavior.
Starting at 6 pm ET, the stream will switch over to a 24-hour marathon of Pokemon-related animation. The broadcast will feature movies, fan-favorite episodes of the many iterations of the TV show, and animated specials, rolling on until it comes to a close at 6 pm ET on Sunday evening.
For fans who’d rather get involved in person, celebrations for Pokemon’s 20th anniversary are taking place in New York and Los Angeles. On February 27 a celebration is being held at Rockefeller Center, while the Pokemon pop-up shop at JapanLA in Los Angeles will have a small opening-night celebration on Saturday, remaining open until March 27.
As a franchise with “gotta catch ‘em all” as its most recognizable catch phrase, Pokemon has always been all about the merchandise, and that isn’t changing for its 20th birthday. On Saturday, re-releases of Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow, will hit the 3DS eShop, while a New Nintendo 3DS Pokemon 20th Anniversary bundle is headed to retail.
The Pokemon 20th Anniversary bundle comes with Pokemon Red and Blue pre-installed, and includes a pair of swappable face plates featuring art from the original games.