Nintendo has just announced that Pokémon X and Y, the first releases in the massively successful franchise’s sixth generation, will arrive in October 2013. This proclamation was accompanied by the launch of a teaser trailer revealing to fans the first details of the new games.

Most importantly, Pokémon X and Y will be the first set of games to make full use of 3D graphics, as well as the first made from the ground up for the Nintendo 3DS. No longer will gamers face the same familiar types of locations, as the series finally takes its place in the 21st century. Marking another first for the series, both games will be launching globally this coming October, meaning that all fans will be able to start the game at the same time, rather than the rest of the world watching jealously from a distance as Japan dives in months ahead.

A diagram showing the three starter Pokémon, Froakie is clearly Benjamin Franklin

In contrast to the previous generation of games which took place in a loosely America-inspired landscape, complete with skyscrapers and their own ‘Hollywood’, X and Y open with Pikachu atop what appears to be the Eiffel Tower, indicating the arrival of Pokémon in Europe for the first time. Whether Glasgow will make an appearance is as yet unconfirmed.

As always in a Pokémon game, there will be a trio of starters to choose from: Chespin, which looks like a chipmunk wearing a conker on its head, Fennekin, a cute red fox and Froakie, who is basically Frogger on steroids. On top of that, the trailer saw the first appearances for the game’s two legendary beasts; Xerneas, which resembles the Deer God from Princess Mononoke and Yveltal, which looks like a badass eagle with little regard for pronunciation.

The previous generation attempted to rectify some of the franchise’s frequent criticisms with a stronger, less formulaic story, though some were still disappointed by the linear path the player was forced to take. As gamers come to expect more immersive, free-roaming worlds the series is starting to change to reflect this desire. The only shame is that it will be nine months before fans can see if it was worth the wait.

[Max Sefton]

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