On September 18, 2010 Nintendo released the fifth generation of it’s popular Pokemon franchise of games. When the original pair of Pokemon games – Red and Blue – were released in 1996 no one could have predicted the massive success this series was going to have on the history of gaming. More than 15 years have passed since these games first made an appearance on the market, and there is no indication that the popularity of the franchise is going to wane any time soon.
September 2010, Japan – Within the first few days of it’s Pokemon Version Rouge Feu ROM release, the Pokemon Black and White versions sold over 2.6 million copies, and by the end of December 2010 that total had reached over 5 million. What is amazing is that these numbers are only for Japan since the game had not been released outside of Japan. The release date for the North American and European markets was still months away (Spring 2011). These sales numbers make this Pokemon generation the fastest selling DS title in Nintendo’s history as of the end of 2010.
Many people, both young and old, have been playing Pokemon since the original versions were released. Not only is Pokemon a popular title for Nintendo’s handheld game consoles, it is also a popular CCG (collectable card game) that continues to hold regional, national and international championship competitions. Few people realize that playing Pokemon can be a lucrative business if you are any good – some players can net tens of thousands of dollars per tournament win! Some professional players have reported over $200,000 a year in annual income just from playing the Pokemon CCG!
Pokemon Black and White has introduced a total of 156 new Pokemon species into the Pokedex. And because this storyline takes place in the Unova Region, far away from the Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh regions, where the other games in the series have been located, the familiar Pokemon species from the other generations of games will not be available for the player to capture and play with. Once the player beats the game then they will unlock the ability to import and catch Pokemon from the other games. Some players may find it difficult to play with Pokemon that they are unfamiliar with, but it puts the player back in the same frame of mind as when they played the game for the very first time. There is something exciting and new about discovering new species and learning about their individual strengths and weaknesses.