Not the Direct we expected.
Anticipation for the customary beginning-of-the-year Nintendo Direct has been ramping up, and recent rumblings have only ramped it up further. But though there is going to be a Direct very soon, it’s probably not what you thought. Nintendo have announced on Twitter that they’ll be broadcasting a Pokemon-focused Direct presentation on January 9 at 6.30 AM PT, and it will have “roughly 20 minutes of new Pokemon information.”
This comes as a surprise because Pokemon Sword and Shield are not even two months old yet, so it’s hard to imagine what major announcement they could use as a centrepiece for this broadcast. A far-fetched and very unlikely guess would be remakes for the Gen 4 games, those being next in line to receive the remake treatment after 2014’s OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire. It’s possible that Nintendo’s got a third version planned for Sword and Shield, but it seems unlikely that they’d announce it so quickly after the original duo’s release- it’s not like they’re not selling well, after all.
There’s some other Pokemon-related stuff that they could talk about. Pokemon Home and Pokemon Sleep both haven’t received an awful lot of details since their announcement, so those two might feature prominently. Meanwhile, it was also confirmed a while back that Tencent’s TiMi Studio (the developers of Call of Duty: Mobile) are also working on an unannounced Pokemon game, presumably for smart devices.
Finally, a Detective Pikachu game was also announced for the Switch last year, though Nintendo have said next to nothing about it since then. Of course, there’s also the possibility that Nintendo might spend some time talking about future pot-launch support for Pokemon Sword and Shield, even though they don’t usually do that sort of stuff, especially for Pokemon.
One thing we can be sure won’t be making an appearance is another Let’s Go-style game, with Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda having confirmed that the developers have no plans to make another one of those right now.
Either way, we’ll know more just two days from now, so at least we don’t have to wait long. Stay tuned, and we’ll keep you updated on any and all info that comes our way.