27th February is fast approaching, and you know what that means? Pokémon Day is almost here!
Every single year since 2016, which happened to be the franchise’s 20th anniversary, The Pokémon Company has shared a number of announcements on this day to celebrate Pokémon, usually in the form of a Nintendo Direct-style Pokémon Presents presentation. And we expect it’ll be the same this year.
Last year gave us the announcement of Pokémon Scarlet & Violet and Generation 9, and while we’re not expecting a brand new mainline game as such, there’s plenty of stuff for The Pokémon Company could do to celebrate in 2023. After just a handful of months, Scarlet & Violet are already the fourth best-selling games in the franchise, so Trainers around the world already expect the developers to add to the game, but there are also some other announcements and projects that we haven’t heard from in a while. Plus, a few out-there dreams — don’t go using Dream Eater on us, TPC.
We know Pokémon Unite and Masters EX will likely get stuff, and we’ll also get a rather heartwarming video focusing on the #PokémonTogether campaign, but we want to have a little bit of fun here.
So, have a look and see what we think TPC might be sharing with us on Pokémon Day 2023, and then vote in our poll below and tell us what you want to see in the comments. Let’s get the mundane stuff out of the way first…
Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Patch Releases
This is a given, isn’t it? Unless it drops before 27th, we reckon Pokémon Scarlet & Violet’s long-awaited version 1.2 patch will finally drop. The Pokémon Company shared the patch notes for this last week, which contains a hefty list of tweaks, fixes, and updates that are coming to the Paldea region sometime this month. But those notes don’t tell us everything.
We know about the bug fixes — those are the focus of those notes, after all — but rather than dwell on what Gen 9 is being criticised for, we imagine this will be a simple “Hey, the update is now live” kind of statement. Maybe it’ll come right at the end.
If there’s something we think those patch notes are deliberately omitting, however, then… read on.
Pokémon HOME Scarlet & Violet integration
Lots of us have been waiting for this since Scarlet & Violet dropped, and Pokémon Day is really the perfect time to announce HOME compatibility for the newest mainline games.
So far, all we know is that HOME integration is planned for “Spring 2023“, which we’re basically in at this point. It might shadow-drop and be slotted into the patch notes for version 1.2 of Scarlet & Violet, but it also might just get a release date in March. Whatever, this is a fairly safe bet, we reckon, and something we’ve been itching to use to get some of our Sword & Shield and Legends: Arceus Pokémon into Paldea.
New Tera Raid and/or Mystery Gift Events
Another safe bet is the announcement of some new Tera Raid Battle Events or Mystery Gift Events. Or both, if TPC is feeling really generous.
At the time of writing this, there are currently no active Tera Raid Battle Events and there aren’t any planned either. There’s a chance one might be announced before Monday, but a special anniversary one wouldn’t go amiss. There might be two announcements, anyway — one for a 7-Star raid, and another for those dual events that are much more frequent.
On the other side, we’ve not had a ton of Mystery Gift events since the game’s release in November. The Flying Tera-Type Pikachu event will be ending on 28th February, so there’s surely no better time to catch Trainers’ interest by revealing a new event Pokémon.
Pokémon Scarlet & Violet DLC
Nothing’s been confirmed, but surely — surely — there’s scope to expand the Paldea region.
Rumours have been circling the internet ever since the release of Scarlet & Violet (and even before that) that we’ll be getting DLC for generation 9’s flagship games, and we think this will close out the Pokémon Presents.
There are lots of hints in-game that point towards a hidden Pokémon, somehow related to Area Zero, the huge area that sits in the middle of the crater at the centre of Paldea. The books in the Academy also have diagrams of some unrecognisable Pokémon that we haven’t seen in the game yet. We won’t share the pictures here, but we’ve done some digging on this before.
Even without the lore and history of Paldea, however, there’s something pretty obvious on the world map that seems to point towards a brand new area.
In the top right-hand corner of Paldea, you’ll notice that part of the map has been greyed out. And if you head over to the area next to the greyed-out section (North Province Area One or Area Two), it’s just a big wall that you can’t climb over the top. So… there’s something cordoned off, right?
Perhaps we’ll find out what secrets lurk in the corner of Paldea on the 27th.
Does Pokémon Stadium shadow-drop on NSO?
Pokémon Stadium has already been confirmed to be coming to Nintendo Switch Online in 2023, and what better day to give it to the world than on Pokémon Day?
Pokémon in 3D used to be a complete novelty back in the day — especially Pokémon battles in 3D — and for many of us, Pokémon Stadium was the first time we could really feel the drama of a Pokémon battle. Because of the 3D visuals, the effects, and the tournament format of the game, the game made us feel like real-life Pokémon trainers. [Meh, who’s got time to battle Pokémon when you can hit the Sushi-Go-Round with Lickitung, amirite? – Ed.]
And that was only enhanced even more by the Transfer Pak. Using this, you could transfer your Pokémon from Pokémon Red & Blue (or Yellow) to the game and actually use the team you’ve already put hundreds of hours into to take down your opponents. Seeing our very own team in 3D for the first definitely brought a tear to our eyes back when we were youngsters…
Ah, but what about that Transfer Pak with NSO? Well, a curious line of text was removed from a recent Japanese NSO trailer which stated that Pokémon couldn’t be transferred to the game. That text made sense originally because what game would you be able to transfer your ‘mon from?
Well… you know what we’re getting at.
Pokémon Red & Blue on NSO?
Yes, we reckon that there’s a chance we’ll be seeing Pokémon Red & Blue, and maybe even Yellow, on the newly-added Game Boy service on NSO.
Everything adds up to Gen 1 coming to the service this year. That text removal from above, Pokémon being one of the biggest franchises in the world, 27th February being Red & Green’s anniversary specifically. This is what gave the world Pokémon, after all. For reference, on the very first Pokémon Day in 2016, Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow all released on the 3DS Virtual Console for the franchise’s 20th anniversary.
Do we reckon this will go beyond simply adding Generation 1? Potentially. We’d love to see Gen 1 make a return, but fan-favourite Gen 2 could also join the fray. And with the GBA also a part of NSO (via the Expansion Pack), why not let Ruby & Sapphire or even FireRed & LeafGreen get in on the action?
Oh, and for anyone who’s worried that you might not be able to trade Pokémon in these NSO versions, fans have been testing this out via emulation already, and it works pretty much flawlessly.
We’re not sure if TPC will put all of its Exeggcute in one basket and reveal all of these on Pokémon Day, but it’d be real nice if it did.
New Pokémon Mystery Dungeon game
A rumour that’s been surfing around the Pokémon world recently is the return of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series.
It’s been eight years since the last new PMD game (Super Mystery Dungeon), and almost three since Rescue Team DX (a remake of the first two DS games) came to Switch. And this sub-series, developed by Spike Chunsoft, has a pretty dedicated following.
Will it be a new game, or will it be a remake of the second games in the series — Explorers of Time & Darkness — or its “sister” game, Explorers of Sky? Or will that source code mined from the Pokémon Together website remain a mystery forever?
Detective Pikachu 2 is uncovered, at last
So, will our coffee-loving Pikachu be making a return during this year’s Pokémon Day celebrations? Maybe. If so, something a little stronger than coffee might be in order…
Okay, this might be a little bit unlikely, but there’s a good reason we’re including it here. Last September, a job listing suggested that Detective Pikachu 2 was “nearing release“. That was five months ago, and we’ve heard nothing since then. In fact, we’ve heard barely anything since the game was announced in 2019.
This would be the perfect time for yellow rodent sleuth to steal the spotlight.
Is it finally Pokémon Sleep’s time to wake up?
We’ll bring this up with every Pokémon Presents or Pokémon Day until we hear more about it. The Pokémon Company might have forgotten about you, Pokémon Sleep, but we haven’t.
So, we’re thrown our Poké Balls to the wind and made some wishes for what we want to see on Pokémon Day 2023. We know there are lots of big things here, so we don’t expect to see everything — but we’re excited about the possibilities for Pokémon in the future.