One of the topics up for discussion was the possibility of more Pokémon games on the Wii U. We've already seen Pokémon Rumble U, but like all of the home console-based entries in the franchise, it was a spin-off with different gameplay to the main portable lineage. Is there ever going to be a domestic mainline Pokémon release? Masuda doesn't think so at the moment:
With the bottom screen there’s a feature called the Player Search System. It’s enabled one to look for and find other players in the same area, so if you’re out and about and there are other people playing Pokémon X and Y, you can see the icons of those trainers on the bottom screen. Just by touching the icon of that trainer you can immediately propose to battle or trade with that person. It’s one of the key features of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y which is possible because it is portable.
But by the same token if you take the game home and you connect it through the internet, then you can do the same thing with other people who are also playing online at the same time. You can trade and battle with people you’ve not met before. We think this mode of play is bets possible with the Nintendo 3DS. If, for example, the Wii U were to be portable in its own right we’d probably reconsider. But for the moment we think the 3DS is the best device for Pokémon RPGs.
And what about Pokémon on smartphones — surely the perfect medium for the title's battle-focused, portable gameplay? Again, Masuda isn't keen:
One of the considerations we have for Pokémon games is that it can be safely and securely played in a fun environment. Are you happy to give the game to your own child or lend it to another child? Personally, I’m a little bit nervous. I find some of the other mobile platforms a little bit frighting – so to speak – in this respect. Who knows what the future will hold, but definitely the best choice for Pokémon is the Nintendo 3DS.
Finally, there was the issue of DLC and microtransactions — systems which are used on other formats which generate an incredible amount of revenue. Masuda feels that such mechanics "don't feel safe enough" at present:
Going back to being able to play Pokémon games in a secure environment is critical. One key point obviously is that Pokémon is played a lot by children, and in Japan it’s got a rating where everyone can play it, an ‘E’ rating in America and Europe is slightly stricter. It’s very important for us that as many people as possible are able to play the Pokémon games in a safe environment.
We like the idea that through Pokémon people can make conversation or you can become friends and that Pokémon can be a safe environment for that. In terms of DLC specifically, I don’t know what shape DLC can take in the future. But at the moment I don’t feel it’s a safe enough mode – so to speak – appropriate for Pokémon.
There’s no download content or microtransaction content developed specifically for Pokémon X and Y. We’ve not come up with any ideas on that yet. I like the idea that Pokémon can be enjoyed with just one piece of software. You buy the game and it can be enjoyed just with that one software that you buy. That’s a key point for Game Freak.
Have you picked up the game yet? Share your feelings on it — and Masuda's comments — by posting a comment below.