In surprise news at the latest Pokémon Presents presentation, The Pokemon Company announced that two new Game Freak-developed mainline games is in the works on Nintendo Switch and will launch at the end of this year.

The Generation 9 games, called Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet are the series’ first return to a colour-themed naming convention since Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 in 2012, a full decade ago.

Three new starter Pokémon were announced: the “Grass Cat” Sprigatito, the “Fire Croc” Fuecoco, and the “Water Duckling” Quaxly.

Scarlet and Violet look to carry over some elements from Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which was released just over a month ago. Taking place in a sprawling open world, the new games are said to have an “open world where various towns with no borders blend seamlessly into the wilderness. Pokémon can be seen everywhere in this wide-open world – in the skies, in the sea, and on the streets.”

The first true mainline Pokémon games on Nintendo Switch to go open-world, there seem to be some themes of taking the franchise back to its roots in some ways, highlighting classic first generation Pokémon such as Pikachu and Magnemite in the trailer, while the return to a colour-based name seems to be eschew the slightly confusing and wilder themes like Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon or Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.

While we don’t have a specific release date, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet are expected to launch at the end of 2022.

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