Europe wakes up to Pokémon Black and White
Pokémon Black and White Versions were officially released across Europe today, marking the beginning of Generation V in regions outside of Japan.
The Europe-wide launch was marked with an appearance by game director Junichi Masuda and designer Ken Sugimori at GAME in London's Oxford Street. The scene was reportedly crowded, as fans travelled across the UK for the chance to meet two of the central figures in the Pokémon franchise.
This is the first time that a main series Pokémon game has seen release in Europe before North America, though on this occasion the European, North American and Australasian releases are all within a week of each other. The near-simultaneous release has been attributed by many to a different system of translation adopted for the new games. In a recent interview, Junichi Masuda revealed that previous games were translated from Japanese into English first, and then from English into other European languages. For Black and White, translations were done directly from Japanese into the target languages.
In related news, it was announced that the Pokémon Global Link will be accessible to international players on March 30. The Liberty Pass event, which enables players to obtain a Victini, also began today, and will remain active in Europe until April 22.
Pokémon Black and White Versions will be available in North America on Sunday March 6, and in Australasia on Thursday March 10.