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With Pokémon Sun and Moon announced and on the horizon, fans of the series have a lot of questions. What will the starters be like? What gameplay changes will they make? Will the games have one particular feature or another?

And above all, when will Pokémon Sun and Moon be released?

While we still have no hints about the specific Pokémon Sun and Moon release date, we do have a window to go by. The official announcement said the games would be released during the holiday season worldwide. A holiday release is perfect for such a huge seller as Pokémon—the main series recently crossed 200 million total sales, and its widespread appeal makes it great for gifts.



“Holiday season” means different things to different people, but it definitely narrows down the possibilities. Let’s take a look at the previous series release dates and see if we can get any ideas.

Pokémon X and Y, which also had a special Nintendo Direct for their announcement in January 2013, were released worldwide in October 2013. That’s approximately 9 months from announcement to release.

Going back a generation, Pokémon Black and White were announced in January 2010, although their names weren’t revealed until much later. Japan got them in September 2010, with Western releases not following until March 2011.

Their direct sequels were announced in February 2012, released in Japan in June 2012, and released in the West in October.

As we go back through the Pokémon generations, we can see that the time between the releases in different regions narrowed as time went on, until Pokémon X and Y had the first worldwide release. X and Y can be seen as a model, as can the other generations’ releases in the West, since we need to take translation time into account for worldwide releases.

Therefore, since X/Y took 9 months and Black/White 2 took 8 months, we can estimate a similar timeframe for Sun and Moon. Taking the “holiday” release window into account, it seems feasible Pokémon Sun and Moon could be out as early as late November 2016.

What do you think? Is November 2016 a reasonable time to predict Pokémon Sun and Moon will be released worldwide, or do you think they’ll be released earlier or later? Do you see any patterns in the release dates from previous generations? Let us know in the comments!

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