The producer of Nintendo's Pokémon video game franchise, Junichi Masuda, has teased the possibility of further remakes of main-series Pokémon titles in the vein of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
Masuda's comments came in an interview where the Game Freak board member hinted that the popularity of the Pokémon Red and Blue re-releases on Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console does not rule out full-fledged remakes in the future.
For the past few years The Pokémon Company and developer Game Freak have historically plugged the gap between new generations of Pokémon games with graphical makeovers of games released on older hardware. This trend started with 2004's Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, which brought the original Game Boy classics to the Game Boy Advance.
This continued with Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver for the first DS handheld and was followed by Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire for the 3DS in 2014 – the latter updating the GBA games with brand new features and a graphical redesign based on the "gen six" games, Pokemon X and Y.
"I think the remakes, like Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, is still an approach we're interested in," Masuda told IGN. "With the Virtual Console releases of the original games, specifically there had never been a way to bring those Pokémon over to the latest generation. It had always been that you couldn't get those Pokémon out."
Using the cloud-based Pokémon Bank software and the Poké Transporter app, Nintendo 3DS players were able to transfer pocket monsters caught in the Red and Blue re-releases to current generation games with ease.
This ended some of the heartache caused for players of the original games on Game Boy who had no way of freeing their Poké-pals from the confines of a game cartridge. While it is still technically possible to transfer creatures to a 3DS Pokémon game caught in any title that released from the GBA-era onwards, doing so takes a lot of time, multiple consoles and sitting through several awful, arbitrary mini-games. Trust me, I've done it.
'No plans' for Pokemon Gold and Silver on Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
Yet, despite have the tools in place and having seen the Red and Blue Virtual Console re-releases quickly topping the all-time sales chart on the 3DS' digital store, Masuda stated that The Pokémon Company has "no plans at the moment to re-distribute Pokémon Gold and Silver games on Virtual Console"/
"With the 20th anniversary, it was the right timing to release the original games," he continued. "I think that we really want to give people the experience of bringing these Pokémon from the original Game Boy and seeing what they look like in Pokémon Sun and Moon. That is something that I want people to enjoy."
If a pair of remakes is in the planning stages, it would most likely see Pokémon Diamond and Pearl enjoy a fresh coat of paint, as the DS titles followed Ruby and Sapphire back in 2007. Perhaps they might even grace Nintendo's upcoming home-handheld console, the Nintendo Switch?
In the meantime, at least Pokémon trainers have very little time to wait until the next adventure, Pokémon Sun and Moon, arrives on 23 November in the UK and 18 November worldwide.