Not many games are big enough to warrant hosting their own press conference, but we can surely count the Pokemon franchise among the worthy few. The Pokemon Company did just that today with the Pokemon 2019 Press Conference in Tokyo, Japan. The Pokemon Company President Tsunekazu Ishihara took the stage first to express that the event is a business strategy announcement, then he and the team revealed upcoming projects like Pokemon Home and Sleep.
The first major announcement is that the Detective Pikachu game for 3DS will be receiving a sequel on Nintendo Switch. The original title ended with a cliffhanger and the new Switch game will be the conclusion to the story. Following a few small details on some real-life Pokemon destinations being created, a NetEase representative took the stage to reveal some new content is coming to Pokemon Quest in the near future.
The team then announced Pokemon Home. The cloud-based service will allow players to bring in Pokemon from the bank on 3DS, Pokemon Go, Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee, and Pokemon Sword/Shield. Pokemon Home will work on smart devices and Nintendo Switch and feature trading functionality, and will launch in early 2020.
Pokemon Go has been a huge hit, ushering fans of the franchise out into the world to find digital Pokemon using their smart devices. It turned walking into entertainment and now the team wants to bring Pokemon to, of all things, your sleep schedule. The company is developing Pokemon Sleep and it will turn “sleep into entertainment” sometime in 2020. The Pokemon Go Plus Plus is a newly announced peripheral that will work like the standard Go Plus to find Pokestop but, at night, will track your rest as part of Pokemon Sleep.
Niantic, the company behind Pokemon Go and the massive worldwide database that supplies the game with its landmarks, is partnering with The Pokemon Company for a project that rewards sleep and a healthy lifestyle. The Niantic rep also shared that a sleeping Snorlax is now available in Pokemon Go.
The final announcement was the formal reveal of Pokemon Masters, which is developed by DeNA. It features all of the past and present Pokemon trainers from other games. Trainers like Misty and Brock appear in the mobile game, which seems to feature turn-based combat with multiple Pokemon at one time.
The Pokemon franchise is having an eventful year. Pokemon Rumble Rush has begun its rollout in Australia, Detective Pikachu delivered the first live-action film based on Pokemon to the big screen, and the eighth generation of the main Pokemon titles is headed to Nintendo Switch at the end of the year. The team revealed during the conference that it will be working harder to bring titles to its Chinese audience, so the Pokemon brand is bound to spread even further over the next few years.
Before this Pokemon press conference, the official Twitter account made sure to point out that the upcoming eighth-generation games Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield for Nintendo Switch were not going to be covered. Those games are getting the spotlight next week, though, with more being revealed on June 5 during a Nintendo Direct event.
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