The Many Years of Pokemon: A History of Handhelds

Pokemon is a huge franchise, from teeny-tiny Nintendo in Japan all those years ago to the crazy worldwide phenomenon it is now. A lot of my friends and I have played, watched, or somehow engaged with the Pokemon world. If you’re one of those people, this post is for you. If you’re not, go check out some of my other posts ūüėČ Also as a pre-cursor, I’m not here to be the very best; that’s Ash’s job. I’m just here trying to make things easy-peasy, at least for the main series of handhelds.

So what exactly has Pokemon been doing over the years? Evolving, that’s for sure. From new games to new generations¬†to spiffy new reboots, the franchise is busy busting its butt to put out new stuff. But since there’s a lot going on, it can be hard to follow even if you play most of the games that get released. So here’s my simple breakdown on the different generations, the originals and the remakes, what system they premiered on and where they get their roots. Yeah, you can find this stuff on any trusty pokemon site, but I’m here as your quick¬†guide to what’s been happening in the pokemon¬†for all these years. Here we go!

Gen

System

Original Titles Rebooted Titles Gen Reboot Region Geographic Basis

1

GBC

Red/Blue or Green*/Yellow** Kanto Kanto Region, JPN

2

GBC

Gold/Silver/ Crystal** Johto Kansai Region, JPN

3

GBA

Ruby/Sapphire/ Emerald** Leaf Green/
Fire Red
Gen 1 Hoenn Kyushu,
JPN

4

DS

Pearl/Diamond/ Platinum** Heart Gold/
Soul Silver
Gen 2 Sinnoh Hokkaido, JPN

5

DS

White/Black ‚Äď White 2/ Black 2** Unova New York City, USA

6

3DS

X/Y Alpha Sapphire/ Omega Ruby Gen 3 Kalos Paris,
France

7

3DS

Sun/Moon Alola Hawai‚Äėi, USA

It’s a long history, and one that started 20 years ago if y’all can imagine. Heck, I was born then, so that’s a pretty awesome fact. But when did each game come out in relation to each other, especially those with **? Note, these release dates are all based¬†on Japan and North America.

Game

Gen

Release Date

Red/Green or Blue

1

1996***

Yellow

1

1999

Gold/Silver

2

2000

Crystal

2

2001

Ruby/Sapphire

3

2003

Leaf Green/Fire Red

3

2004

Emerald

3

2005

Pearl/Diamond

4

2007

Platinum

4

2009

Heart Gold/Soul Silver

4

2010

White/Black

5

2011

White 2/Black 2

5

2012

X/Y

6

2013

Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby

6

2014

Sun/Moon

7

2016

It’s nothing mind-blowingly new or crazy, but I hope it’s a helpful debrief on the¬†main games of the franchise. If you want to see this done for another series shoot me a comment or a message and I’ll see what I can do. I’d also like to thank my lovely friend Steph for rattling all of this off the top of her head, mostly spot-on, before my own fact-checking and research.

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*Blue¬†version was the US equivalent of Japan’s Green version: the 2 were never released in the opposing country.

**these were all released within the same main line of their generation (no reboots), but at a later time. the difference is typically 1-2 years apart, and features glitch fixes, both legendary pokemon exclusive to 1 version prior, and sometimes storyline modifications.

***1998 in North America. the releases synced up after this first release was a smash hit.

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