According to a press release, Nintendo will be releasing two downloadable games that are meant to expand “the overall [sic] experience for those that choose to play the upcoming Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 games on the Nintendo 3DS.” It claims that they will give players new ways to catch and learn about their favorite Pokémon. One game is Pokémon Dream Radar, a game that utilizes the 3DS’s camera, and another is Pokédex 3D Pro, which is an improvement on the original Pokédex 3D application. The press release goes on to state:
Pokémon Dream Radar lets players use several different features of the Nintendo 3DS system, including the Nintendo 3DS camera, motion control and augmented-reality technology, to catch Pokémon by moving the Nintendo 3DS to discover hidden Pokémon. Players can catch the Pokémon by moving the Nintendo 3DS to aim and shoot beams at them. Caught Pokémon from Pokémon Dream Radar can be transferred into Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2, helping players build their roster of Pokémon. Pokémon Dream Radar also includes some hard-to-get Pokémon, giving players even more incentive to catch them for their game. Pokémon Dream Radar will be available exclusively for purchase via download from the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS.
Pokédex 3D Pro is a fully enhanced and upgraded version of the original Pokédex 3D application. It includes detailed information about the more than 600 Pokémon featured in the history of the Pokémon video game series. Pokédex 3D Pro also includes in-depth sorting, comparison and ranking tools, as well as comprehensive details on what abilities each Pokémon can learn and how it evolves. Additionally, the application includes extensive augmented-reality capabilities, including the ability to take photos of Pokémon in the real world. With Pokédex 3D Pro, all known Pokémon are unlocked from the start, allowing players to access a wealth of information that will be useful as they play through Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2. Pokémon Dream Radar will be available exclusively for purchase via download from the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS.
Release dates have not been given, but we can expect the games in fall 2012, when Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 are released.
Analysis: Ah, so that’s their plan. I was wondering why they’d skip out on the 3DS when they’re trying to push systems, but it looks like there’s an incentive to switch after all. It’s hard for me to gauge how big of an incentive this is since I already have a 3DS, but I’m trying to imagine whether I’d be squirming for one right about now. I don’t think I would based on this alone. Still, utilizing outside applications to enhance the Pokémon experience is a smart move and one I can appreciate, especially as one who already owns the system which will be doing the utilizing.
I think the idea of using the camera in a Pokémon Snap-like way to catch them is a cute idea and definitely one that I’d like to try out. I’m not sure how exciting of a gimmick it will be after you’ve used it for a while, but it’s an interesting experiment that could be a lot of fun if done correctly, especially for the younger crowd that is Pokémon‘s main demographic. I find it odd that we shoot beams at the Pokémon we want to catch instead of throwing a Poké Ball or something, but perhaps they’ll explain why that is in upcoming press releases or while using the application.
I wasn’t that impressed with the original Pokédex 3D, so hearing that they’re going to be improving the application and expanding it is definitely good news. One of my major complaints was that it only had Pokémon from Black and White, but it looks like they’re addressing that by including all 600+ Pokémon. It also looks like they want to take the application seriously, which is good because I thought it was kind of a waste of time at first, especially after it and SwapNote stopped working and I had to send in my 3DS for repair as there was no other way to fix it. (The experience of sending my 3DS in, however, was surprisingly pleasant and not at all the hassle I imagined it was going to be.)
Over all, not bad ideas, if implemented correctly. I’l be getting Pokémon Black Version 2 and/or Pokémon White Version 2 in the fall, so I expect that I’ll be utilizing these applications as well. We’ll see if they actually enhance the experience or if they’re just cute gimmicks.