Nintendo announces Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire for 3DS

After years of rumours that claimed Nintendo and Game Freak would be remaking their Generation III Pokemon games, first pegged for the DS and later for the 3DS, the company has just made the news official today in a surprise announcement; Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire will be coming to the 3DS this November.

A brief thirty-second announcement teaser comes alongside the news, simply confirming the existence of the two remakes and when they’re set to release, with Nintendo no doubt aiming to talk about the two games during their digital E3 presentation on June 10th.

The original Pokemon Ruby Version and Pokemon Sapphire Version for the Game Boy Advance are best known for introducing Double Battles to the series, where two Pokemon battle simultaneously, as well as unique natures and abilities that affect how a Pokemon develops and may gain a unique edge in battle. It also allowed for growing and cultivating of Pokemon Berries, which could be blended into Poke Blocks that enhanced attributes for Pokemon related to beauty contests that the player could enter, all set in the then-new Hoenn Region.

While this is no doubt exciting news for Pokemon fans, Nintendo appears to have made this announcement prematurely to run damage control after their annual financials were posted today. Nintendo posted a disastrous final result for fiscal 2014 (ending March 31st, 2014), with only 2.7 million Wii U consoles sold in that time, and lifetime Wii U sales now sitting at 6.17 million, already outpaced by Sony’s competing PlayStation 4 that only released last November.

Pokemon Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire - Box Art

The continued poor Wii U sales resulted in an operating loss of around $457 million for the Mario Maker. Yikes. The lower-than-expected sales of titles like Super Mario 3D World and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD didn’t help matters.

Fortunately, 3DS numbers are a bit more positive. Nintendo sold 590,000 units in Q1 2014, bringing lifetime sales to 43.3 million, with the recently-released cheap alternative, the 2DS moving 2.2 million units since it released last October. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds were all among the healthiest sales contributors from the Big N, each selling over two million copies, despite the 3DS still ultimately missing its financial target for fiscal 2014.

These new Pokemon game announcements no doubt come on the heels of the massive sales success of Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, far and away the best-selling 3DS games of 2013, now confirmed to have a staggering 12.26 million copies sold worldwide at this time. These numbers make them the third-best-selling video games of the entire year, only behind Call of Duty: Ghosts in second, now at 20.99 million copies, and the record-shattering Grand Theft Auto V in first, now at 35.25 million copies.

What kinds of features and additions do you hope are made to Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire? Are you excited that the Generation III adventure will soon be available to experience anew? Would you rather Nintendo and Game Freak didn’t waste their time on remakes and just focused on original new Pokemon games? Feel free to leave your comments below.

Eggplante’s continuing to catch your updates on all things Pokemon, as we encounter them.