In a move that is almost to be expected of it at this point, Nintendo announced today it will release Pokémon Gold and Silver for the 3DS on September 22 in Europe — with some added twists.
As evidenced by Pokémon Red and Blue, Nintendo has already shown it is keen on releasing its older Pokémon games on newer handhelds. However, what’s so strange this time around is that not only will Gold and Silver be a physical release, but they won’t be the updated Heart Gold and Soul Silver titles that came out in 2009. Instead, this release focuses exclusively on the original Gold and Silver that came out in 1999.
“On 22/09, shiny packaged versions of #Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver containing a download code will be released in shops,” Nintendo of Europe stated on Twitter.
Of course, the Game Boy Color classics only coming in their original form shouldn’t be too surprising as Nintendo already confirmed during the Pokémon Direct back in June that they would be coming to the eShop, but there’s no escaping the fact it was an odd decision to release them at all, especially when considering that Heart Gold and Soul Silver are both readily available on the 3DS via DS cartidges.
Unfortunately, those expecting to get an actual 3DS cartridge with the original Gold and Silver will find themselves somewhat disappointed, as the box will only include a download code on a piece of paper for you to then enter via the 3DS eShop.
On the bright side, the game will be compatible with the Pokémon Bank app, so it is possible to transfer Pokémon caught in either game and transfer them to other titles.
Beyond that, however, the original packaging is exactly the same — albeit with a big yellow warning, informing buyers that they’ll need an internet connection to download the game.
As a final disclaimer, this announcement only pertains to Europe for the time being. However, the only thing weirder than releasing a “physical” copy of Pokémon Gold and Silver in this manner, would be to have a Pokémon release that leaves both North America and Japan out of the loop.