Earlier today Nintendo announced a brand new upcoming “Pokémon Direct”, airing just in time for the franchise’s 20th anniversary. Long time Direct watchers, however, will remember that back on January 8th 2013 we got another Direct with the exact same title. Could looking back on it help us find out what’s in store for the future?

The 2013 Direct was hosted by the late Satoru Iwata, and right from the start he carries the same boundless enthusiasm we sorely miss to this day. For 6 minutes Iwata takes us through the history of the main Pokémon series, from its early Game Boy beginnings to the wireless wonders of the Nintendo DS, all the while giving us little tidbits of behind the scenes information.

One of the core themes of the Direct was one of localization, with frequent references to how Nintendo and Game Freak were constantly working on closing the gap between international releases, eventually culminating in the end-of-show reveal that the new games, X and Y, would get a simultaneous worldwide launch.

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This series retrospective still holds up and is definitely worth watching again, and considering it was compiled only three years ago Nintendo may not want to retread the same history lessons in the upcoming Direct. Nintendo and Game Freak have also continued with their efforts to close the localization gap, with Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire releasing across the globe within a single November 2014 week. A similar approach to worldwide launches can probably be expected of any upcoming major titles.

Of course the main event in the 2013 Direct was the announcement of Pokemon X and Y, which took the form of a trailer that lasted less than two minutes. This alone should ease some concerns that the new five minute long Direct is too short to cover anything major, especially considering X and Y were a massive leap for the franchise in many ways and yet the trailer still managed to cover the basics.

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The time-frame for the two Directs also matches up to a degree, with both happening early in the year. With the 2013 Direct this was done to build up hype for the release of X and Y in the coming October. Whether this means we’ll see a brand-new game by the year’s end is purely speculation at this point, but considering how much Nintendo is pushing 2016 as a year of celebrations it shouldn’t be ruled out.

If the last Pokémon Direct really is an indication of what to expect, Friday will be a great day for Pokémon fans. Be sure to keep checking back for any further news!

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Written by Tom Brown

Whether it’s an exciting new entry in a series long established or a weird experiment meant only for the dedicated, Tom is eager to report on it. Rest assured, if Nintendo ever announces Elite Beat Agents 2, he’ll be there.

Tom Brown