The announcement came at the tail end of a video celebrating the series’ 20th anniversary: The original Pokémon was released on February 27, 1996. The new games are the latest and largest in a series of promotions related to the anniversaries, including re-releases of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow coming to the Nintendo 3DS eShop Saturday, and a special ‘edition New 3DS.
Though Nintendo was light on details in the announcement, it said that players would be able to transfer their Pokémon from the upcoming ports to Pokémon Sun and Moon using Nintendo’s Pokémon Bank, a series-specific cloud storage app for the 3DS. Players can also transfer their Pokémon from the most recent Pokémon games, including Pokémon Omega Ruby, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, Pokémon X, and Pokémon Y. As Kotaku pointed out, the concept art in the trailer included an image of a Blastoise riding on the back of a fire truck.
The announcements follow reports yesterday that Nintendo filed trademarks for the names and logos for Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon in the European Union. A parody account impersonating Nintendo of America accurately predicted the games would be released in 2016. Rumors that Nintendo had a proper sequel in development shifted into high-gear earlier this month when Nintendo unveiled a new Pokémon in Japanese magazine Coro Coro, though many speculated the game would be called “Pokémon Z,” following the pattern established by X and Y.
Pokémon Sun and Moon will be available in late 2016. Until then, The Pokémon Company has plenty of ideas for how you can celebrate the series’ 20th anniversary.