Pokemon X and Y may feature 3D visuals, but it isn’t a reboot in the slightest. Pokemon Company International director of consumer marketing J.C. Smith says that these latest games simply represent “new things and express the world in a new way.”
“There’s never been a conscious decision to reboot. There’s always been an evolution of the look and feel; it just happens to be that we played Black and White, and Heart Gold and Soul Silver, and Diamond and Pearl, and Platinum — all of those games on the same platform. So it feels like it’s been a long time in the same way. But between the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color, and moving up into the DS now, it’s always had that change. There’s never been a conscious decision to reboot, it’s just a decision to try new things and express the world in a new way.”
Complete 3D visuals are obviously the biggest change in Pokemon X/Y. This is the first time any mainline title will feature full polygonal graphics.
Smith discussed the new style with Polygon:
“This game has been a long time coming. Obviously, Game Freak wanted to make sure that when they created this new universe on the 3DS, that it looked fantastic; both in the polygonal style and also when people are able to see the 3D effects as well. It’s really exciting to see the Pokemon come to life a little more. They’re always working hard to make sure the games are as slick and polished as possible. But with the new expression of that game — they’ve had the DS for three generations of games now, so I’m sure it took some getting used to to fully utilize the 3DS. But even in this early stage of development, it’s looking really cool.”
“[Pokemon series producer and director Junichi] Masuda is still working on this project, and has been working on Pokemon games since the beginning. Moving to the new platform and having a new look and feel they decided that they wanted to pursue, just opened up their ideas to doing something a little different.”
Another change being presented with Pokemon X/Y concerns localization. For the first time, a Pokemon release will ship around the world in the same month.
There are benefits of the quick localization time this time around, as Smith notes:
“We wanted to make sure, and Game Freak wanted to make sure, that everyone in the world could start trading, start battling, start communicating right from the beginning. It was never perfect when we had that lag. It’s certainly nice to have people at the same place. People who pick up the game on day one in Japan, and day one on the U.S. can start developing their teams quickly, and can start training and battling and have it be a little more fair.”