Pokemon pronounced poh-kay-mon is the second largest Nintendo video games franchise in the world superseded only by Nintendo’s own Super Mario. The franchise, now around 16 years old, is due to release its 6th generation in the series later this year.
The game, created by Japanese founder Satoshi Tajiri in 1996, was inspired by the popular past time of insect collecting which Tajiri enjoyed as a child. By the spring of 2010 the Pokemon franchises collectively had sold well over 200 million copies worldwide.
Pokemon also known as ‘pocket monsters’ in Japan is the term used to refer to the 649 fictional creatures which have featured in the series since its inception.
The goal of the Pokemon player is complete the Pokedex by collecting all available Pokemon species placed in the game setting. The player, who is considered a Pokemon trainer, must then train the strongest and most powerful of the Pokemon captured, so enabling them to compete against teams owned by other trainers. The aim is to become the most powerful Pokemon trainer, the Pokemon Master.
The first generation of Pokemon which proved very popular amongst Japanese gamers was released under the title ‘pocket monsters’ Aka and Midori (red and green) for the Game Boy in Japan. The updated version Ao (blue) being released a short time later. The Ao version was then re-programmed Pokomon Red and Blue before being released in the US in 1998.
The second generation of Pokemon, produced for the Gameboy Colour, introduced 100 new species of Pokemon in 1999, with Pokemon Gold and Sliver, followed by Pokemon Crystal. The third generation created for the Gameboy Advanced, saw the release of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, along side a remake of Pokemon Red and Blue. As part of the third generation Nintendo also introduced Pokemon FireRed, Greenleaf and Pokemon Emerald. Pokemon collectively now totaled 386 species.
Pokemon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum contributed to the forth generation of the game and was released in 2006 for the Nintendo DS. Bringing the total number of species to 493. The fifth generation of the franchise released during 2010 for Nintendo DS, introduced Pokemon Black and White bringing the total number of species to 649.
The next installment in the series for the Nintendo 3DS, which was announced in January 2013, is due for release in October 2013. The Pokemon franchise which has expanded rapidly over the years, has also introduced successful lines of collectors cards, manga and numerous Pokemon anime and film series.